Legislature(2019 - 2020)Anch LIO Lg Conf Rm

12/11/2019 02:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
02:00:09 PM Start
02:00:41 PM Presentation(s): Private Prisons and Prisoner Outsourcing
04:04:17 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Private prisons and prisoner TELECONFERENCED
outsourcing by
- Dr. David Lovell, Ph.D., M.S.W., Research
Associate Professor Emeritus
- Chet Adkins, Native Men's Wellness Program
Wellness Associate
- Randy McLellan, President Alaska Correctional
Officer's Union
- Felix Rivera, Anchorage Assembly Chair
- Cathleen McLaughlin, Restorative & Reentry
Services, LLC
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
                       December 11, 2019                                                                                        
                           2:00 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative    Jonathan    Kreiss-Tomkins,    Co-Chair    (via                                                               
teleconference)                                                                                                                 
Representative Grier Hopkins (via teleconference)                                                                               
Representative Andi Story (via teleconference)                                                                                  
Representative Adam Wool (via teleconference)                                                                                   
Representative Sarah Vance (via teleconference)                                                                                 
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY JOSEPHSON                                                                                                   
SENATOR ELVI GRAY-JACKSON (via teleconference)                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  PRIVATE PRISONS AND PRISONER OUTSOURCING                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY JOSEPHSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered remarks during the presentation,                                                                 
entitled "Private prisons and prisoner outsourcing."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHET ADKINS, Wellness Associate                                                                                                 
Native Men's Wellness Program                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,    entitled   "Private    prisons   and    prisoner                                                               
outsourcing."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RANDY MCLELLAN, President                                                                                                       
Alaska Correctional Officers Association (ACOA)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,    entitled   "Private    prisons   and    prisoner                                                               
outsourcing."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA WILSON                                                                                                                   
Alaska Correctional Officers Association (ACOA)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,    entitled   "Private    prisons   and    prisoner                                                               
outsourcing."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KELLY GOODE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                
Department of Corrections (DOC)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Answered questions  during  presentation,                                                             
entitled "Private prisons and prisoner outsourcing."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
FELIX RIVERA, Assembly Member                                                                                                   
Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) Assembly                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,    entitled   "Private    prisons   and    prisoner                                                               
outsourcing."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CATHLEEN MCLAUGHLIN, Principal Chief Executive Officer (CEO)                                                                    
Restorative & Reentry Services, LLC (RRS)                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,    entitled   "Private    prisons   and    prisoner                                                               
outsourcing."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DAVID LOVELL, PhD, Research Associate Professor Emeritus                                                                        
University of Washington                                                                                                        
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,    entitled   "Private    prisons   and    prisoner                                                               
outsourcing" with the use of a PowerPoint presentation.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TERRIA VANDENHUERK                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified  during the presentation, entitled                                                             
"Private prisons and prisoner outsourcing."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
EUGENE HABERMAN                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified  during the presentation, entitled                                                             
"Private prisons and prisoner outsourcing."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT REDLINGER                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified  during the presentation, entitled                                                             
"Private prisons and prisoner outsourcing."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TRIADA STAMPAS, Policy Director                                                                                                 
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Alaska                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified  during the presentation, entitled                                                             
"Private prisons and prisoner outsourcing."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ZACK FIELDS  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  2:00 p.m.   Representatives Story                                                               
(via teleconference),  Vance (via teleconference),  Shaw, Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins  (via teleconference),  and  Fields were  present at  the                                                               
call  to order.   Representatives  Wool (via  teleconference) and                                                               
Hopkins  (via  teleconference)  joined  as  the  meeting  was  in                                                               
progress.    Also  present   were  Representative  Josephson  and                                                               
Senator Gray-Jackson (via teleconference).                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:01 p.m. to 2:03 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  PRIVATE PRISONS AND PRISONER OUTSOURCING                                                                     
   PRESENTATION(S):  PRIVATE PRISONS AND PRISONER OUTSOURCING                                                               
                                                                                                                              
2:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  a  presentation  by  Dr. David  Lovell,  Chet  Adkins,  Randy                                                               
McLellan, Felix Rivera, and Cathleen McLaughlin.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDY   JOSEPHSON,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
commented  on efforts  by a  previous administration  and current                                                               
legislators to  keep prisoners in state,  including the reopening                                                               
of Palmer  Correctional Center (PCC).   He maintained  that there                                                               
is  evidence that  the Department  of Corrections  (DOC) has  not                                                               
done all it could to reopen that prison.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  offered a quotation  from former  Governor Frank                                                               
Murkowski regarding  the passage  of Senate  Bill 65  [during the                                                               
Twenty-Third Alaska State Legislature, 2003-2004] as follows:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I  have consistently  supported finding  a solution  to                                                                    
     the chronic  problem of prison overcrowding  in Alaska.                                                                    
     Over a  decade of  gridlock has led  to the  failure to                                                                    
     improve  on  what  was  supposed   to  be  a  temporary                                                                    
     solution of  sending prisoners to Arizona.   The result                                                                    
     has been the placement of  more and more prisoners into                                                                    
     community   housing  alternatives   and  the   constant                                                                    
     transferring of  prisoners between locations  to ensure                                                                    
     the  integrity of  the system,  all of  which runs  the                                                                    
     risk of  compromising the level of  public safety being                                                                    
     provided to  Alaskans. ... And finally,  this bill will                                                                    
     generate good  paying, long-term jobs for  Alaskans and                                                                    
     end  the  export  of  over  $14  million  per  year  to                                                                    
     Arizona.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:06:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHET ADKINS,  Wellness Associate, Native Men's  Wellness Program,                                                               
relayed that  on March 21, 2015,  he was released from  a halfway                                                               
house after  serving two days  short of 28  years in prison.   Of                                                               
that time, 18  years were spent in the private  facilities out of                                                               
state -  from January 1995 to  May 2013.  He  was incarcerated at                                                               
the  Spring Creek  Correctional  Center (SCCC)  [Seward] in  June                                                               
1988.   He said  that the Alaska  correctional system  has always                                                               
been  considered a  "weak"  system -  meaning  that the  "convict                                                               
code" was  not embraced as  much there as  at other places.   Sex                                                               
offenders walked the  yard without being molested.   The level of                                                               
violence was  minimal.  The  presence of  drugs was minimal.   He                                                               
said that  he didn't recall  a single  assault of a  staff member                                                               
during his time at the facility.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ADKINS continued by describing  conditions at the facility in                                                               
Arizona,  to which  he  was  transferred in  January  1995.   The                                                               
number one variable cost in corrections  is the cost of staff; to                                                               
make a profit  the [for-profit] facility pays staff  as little as                                                               
possible.   At Arizona, staff  were earning $9 per  hour; kitchen                                                               
staff were  earning $5 per  hour; staff  looked for ways  to make                                                               
extra  money; they  smuggled in  contraband.   He  said that  the                                                               
claim that Alaskans were housed  separately is not true; they had                                                               
contact with others  in the kitchen and in the  yard.  During his                                                               
first year at  the Central Arizona Detention  Center [operated by                                                               
CoreCivic,  formerly  the   Corrections  Corporation  of  America                                                               
(CCA)], there  was less  than a 600-bed  capacity; the  next year                                                               
the capacity doubled  with prisoners brought in from  Oregon.  He                                                               
stated that  it was then  that the criminalization of  the prison                                                               
population began;  Alaska prisoners  were indoctrinated  into the                                                               
convict  mentality.    They  were exposed  to  inmates  from  New                                                               
Mexico,  the  Virgin Islands,  and  Washington,  D.C.; they  were                                                               
exposed  to  the  most  violent   people;  the  Washington,  D.C.                                                               
prisoners  were transferred  to the  detention center  in Arizona                                                               
because they had dismantled another CCA prison in Ohio.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.   ADKINS  stated   that  when   the  Alaska   prisoners  were                                                               
transferred  to  the  Red  Rock   Correctional  Center  in  Eloy,                                                               
Arizona,   they   were   housed  side-by-side   with   California                                                               
prisoners.  Most of the  California prisoners were gang members -                                                               
predominantly MS-13.  It was  there that the "Native Brotherhood"                                                               
was  formed;  it was  in  response  to  treatment of  the  Native                                                               
population by the other gangs.   He maintained that prejudice has                                                               
always  existed in  the  correctional  system; however,  Alaskans                                                               
weren't   exposed   to   "white  supremacy"   until   they   were                                                               
incarcerated in  Arizona.  He  mentioned the murder  committed by                                                               
the "1488"  gang in 2018  and asserted that the  incarceration of                                                               
Alaska prisoners out of state  and exposure to gang behavior over                                                               
a  long period  was directly  responsible  for that  murder.   He                                                               
stated  that Alaska  prisoners were  taught  by the  out-of-state                                                               
facilities how  to act  as convicts;  it was  all done  under the                                                               
guise of saving  money.  He offered that in  the short term, out-                                                               
of-state  incarceration does  save  money; however,  in the  long                                                               
term it costs  much more both in money,  lives, and opportunities                                                               
lost.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ADKINS acknowledged  that when  he  was sent  to prison,  he                                                               
needed to  be "taken  off the  street" because  he was  a danger;                                                               
however,  during his  prison time  he saw  many people  who could                                                               
have been redeemed.   Due to the prison system,  they were pushed                                                               
into situations  in which they  had to become people  they didn't                                                               
need to  be.  He  maintained that for many,  it was not  a choice                                                               
but a survival mechanism.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:11:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked for  more  background  on the  1488  gang                                                               
murder.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ATKINS  explained that the  number "14" refers to  the letter                                                               
"N" which  stands for the Nazi  Party; the number "88"  refers to                                                               
the letters "HH"  which stands for "Heil Hitler."   It is a white                                                               
supremacist  gang formed  [within Alaska  DOC] by  Alaska inmates                                                               
who had  been held in facilities  in Colorado [and Arizona].   He                                                               
said that he is unclear as  to what exactly occurred, but someone                                                               
was killed.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:12:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY expressed her  appreciation for Mr. Adkins's                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:13:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RANDY   MCLELLAN,   President,   Alaska   Correctional   Officers                                                               
Association (ACOA),  relayed that through his  experience at DOC,                                                               
he witnessed  the negative  effects that  private prisons  had on                                                               
Alaska offenders.   He posed  the question,  "Why privatization?"                                                               
and maintained  that it  is difficult to  imagine that  Alaska is                                                               
asking this  question with all  the bad  history it has  had with                                                               
sending prisoners  to the Lower  48.   He stated that  Alaska has                                                               
already fallen victim to corruption  by private prisons and their                                                               
lobbyists.   He  mentioned that  Representative Tom  Anderson was                                                               
convicted of  seven felonies in  2007, which  included extortion,                                                               
bribery,  conspiracy, and  money  laundering.   He asserted  that                                                               
profiting   from  the   incarceration  of   Alaska  citizens   is                                                               
unethical; and sending  hard-earned Alaska money out  of state to                                                               
line  the pockets  of private  prison shareholders  is ludicrous.                                                               
He  declared that  the  public has  voted  down privatization  in                                                               
Alaska four  separate times over  the years - Anchorage  in 1997,                                                               
Delta Junction in 1999, Kenai in 2001, and Whittier in 2005.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCLELLAN  continued by  relaying  a  history of  outsourcing                                                               
Alaska prisoners.  In 1994,  DOC Commissioner Frank Pruitt signed                                                               
a contract with CCA to house  200 prisoners in Arizona.  This was                                                               
a  temporary   solution  to  alleviate  overcrowding   in  Alaska                                                               
prisons.  By  the end of 2007, when the  contract was transferred                                                               
to  Cornell  Companies,  the  prison  population  had  soared  to                                                               
approximately 1,060  prisoners.  By  the time Alaska  brought the                                                               
prisoners  home, this  temporary  solution had  lasted nearly  20                                                               
years.   In  2012,  Alaska opened  the  Goose Creek  Correctional                                                               
Center  (GCCC)  [Wasilla]  to bring  Alaska  prisoners  home  and                                                               
closer to their  families and cultural rehabilitation.   In 2018,                                                               
President Trump  signed a bipartisan  bill that  requires federal                                                               
prisoners  be incarcerated  no  more than  500  miles from  their                                                               
primary residence.  Any out-of-state  prisons that Alaskans could                                                               
be sent to  would far exceed 500 miles.   Beginning in the spring                                                               
of  2013,  Alaska  prisoners  started  returning  from  Colorado.                                                               
Right  away  DOC realized  it  was  getting back  much  different                                                               
prisoners than  it had sent  out.   They were far  more dangerous                                                               
and skilled in  criminal ways; many inmates referred  to the out-                                                               
of-state  private  prisons  as   criminal  college  or  gladiator                                                               
school.  He said, "I  don't think this sounds like rehabilitation                                                               
to anybody."   He referred  to previous testimony  that supported                                                               
those claims.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN relayed that the  prisoners came back organized into                                                               
three different primary  gangs now validated in Alaska  - the Low                                                               
Life's, the  1488s, and  the Native  Brotherhood.   He maintained                                                               
that Alaska created these gangs  by sending incarcerated Alaskans                                                               
to out-of-state prisons.  Prisoners  are forced to join gangs for                                                               
protection.   There is safety  in numbers.   Even those  who have                                                               
never  had a  desire  to join  a  gang, are  forced  to join  for                                                               
safety.  When these prisoners  came back to Alaska, DOC's use-of-                                                               
force incidences  spiked -  both inmate on  inmate and  inmate on                                                               
staff.  Assaults  soared.  Drug trafficking hit  an all-time high                                                               
and is still a problem.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  related that  when he first  started at  DOC, there                                                               
were very few gangs and  very little gang activity.  Occasionally                                                               
a gangster would come  up to Alaska from the Lower  48 and try to                                                               
organize   or  get   a  business   started;   local  police   and                                                               
correctional staff were  very good at exposing  and thwarting the                                                               
individual's activity.   Now there  are hundreds of  gang members                                                               
in    Alaska's   correctional    facilities   and    communities.                                                               
Correctional officers (COs) are  specifically trained to identify                                                               
gang  members and  their  activities.   Although  there are  many                                                               
other gangs, DOC's  focus is on the predominant ones  in Alaska -                                                               
the Low  Life's, the  1488s, and the  Native Brotherhood  - which                                                               
are the three gangs that  Alaska created by sending prisoners out                                                               
of state.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  offered that if  a prisoner doesn't feel  safe, DOC                                                               
can't  seriously   expect  him/her  to  rehabilitate   or  better                                                               
himself/herself.  He asked the question:   If DOC is to be a good                                                               
example for  prisoners by providing  cultural programs  for their                                                               
betterment  with  the  hope  of   reintegrating  them  back  into                                                               
society, how  is putting them in  harm's way every day  provide a                                                               
good  example?   They don't  feel safe  to leave  their cells  to                                                               
attend parenting  classes, anger classes, or  drug rehabilitation                                                               
classes.   He  maintained they  are just  going to  survive until                                                               
they can leave prison.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCLELLAN relayed  that out-of-state  prisons keep  prisoners                                                               
from their  families.  Prisoners  are unable to make  phone calls                                                               
due to  the exorbitant long-distance  phone call fees.   Cultural                                                               
programs offered  for rehabilitation are  virtually non-existent.                                                               
Alaska offers  several cultural programs, potlatches,  and Native                                                               
foods; none of  these would be offered out of  state.  Statistics                                                               
show  that  family  and  cultural  connections  are  primary  for                                                               
rehabilitating offenders and integrating them back into society.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  said that the  reasons given by  the administration                                                               
for  the necessity  to send  prisoners  out of  state to  private                                                               
prisons is  a spike in  the prison  population and a  shortage of                                                               
COs.  The spike in  the prison population since [Governor Michael                                                               
Dunleavy]  signed  the  crime  bill [HB  49,  passed  during  the                                                               
Thirty-First  Alaska  State  Legislature, 2019-2020,  and  signed                                                               
into  law  7/8/19]  is  about  213 prisoners.    That  spike  has                                                               
plateaued  and does  not  currently constitute  a  crisis.   That                                                               
number puts DOC  at 97 percent capacity.  The  increase in prison                                                               
population and the  deficit of officers is not  unexpected and is                                                               
nothing new.   He offered  that in the last  legislative session,                                                               
the administration was aware of  the problem and it was discussed                                                               
many times.   Commissioner Nancy  Dahlstrom [DOC]  stated several                                                               
times  that recruitment  and retention  are  her top  priorities.                                                               
Unfortunately, the  administration's efforts  so far  have netted                                                               
it a  loss of  26 officers since  Governor Dunleavy  took office.                                                               
He  maintained that  the administration  put forth  no effort  to                                                               
recruit, because  doing so would  be in opposition to  its desire                                                               
to  privatize  corrections  in Alaska.    "Overtime  is  soaring,                                                               
safety is compromised, officer burnout  is real."  He mentioned a                                                               
recent conversation with a CO at  SCCC who said that during every                                                               
off-week, he  is mandatorily working  a minimum of  three 12-hour                                                               
shifts;  in other  words, the  officer works  a 7-12  shift -  84                                                               
hours  -  then  36  or  more hours  overtime.    Recruitment  and                                                               
retention  should be  priorities, but  so far  there has  been no                                                               
result of a robust recruitment and retention program.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:23:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  stated that in  Commissioner Dahlstrom's  letter to                                                               
the  legislature   dated  December  6,  2019   [included  in  the                                                               
committee packet], she  outlined the cost of reopening  PCC.  She                                                               
estimated the cost to be nearly $40  million.  He said that it is                                                               
a building sitting idle; heat,  electricity, and plumbing are all                                                               
functional; the building is ready  to be used with minor upgrades                                                               
and maintenance.   It  could be  opened in a  few months  and the                                                               
need  could have  been  anticipated.   A year  ago,  when it  was                                                               
evident that a new crime  bill would raise the inmate population,                                                               
recognizing a shortage of COs  and prioritizing their recruitment                                                               
and retention  at that  time would  have been  a very  good idea.                                                               
Now, many  months later, with 26  less officers, it has  become a                                                               
"crisis."   He  opined  that  $40 million  to  reopen PCC  "seems                                                               
crazy."    He  offered  that  the  facility  is  in  much  better                                                               
condition  than   needing  $40  million   worth  of  work.     In                                                               
comparison, the  Anchorage jail -  a state-of-the-art  facility -                                                               
was constructed with just $58 million.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCLELLAN emphasized  that Alaska  COs  are the  best in  the                                                               
nation; DOC rehabilitation  programs are the best  in the nation;                                                               
PCC was  one of  the largest "program"  facilities in  the state;                                                               
incarcerated   Alaskans   have   their  best   opportunities   to                                                               
rehabilitate and  be integrated  into society here  at home.   He                                                               
maintained that Alaska should be taking care of its own.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  stated that internal documents  from DOC suggest                                                               
that it  could open  PCC's minimum facility  in five  months, the                                                               
medium  facility in  nine months,  or both  facilities in  twelve                                                               
months.   He  asked  for information  regarding  the opening  and                                                               
staffing of GCCC - a much larger facility.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCLELLAN answered  that DOC  hired  over 100  officers in  a                                                               
short amount  of time -  less than  a year -  to staff GCCC.   He                                                               
mentioned  that  GCCC opened  in  stages  - starting  with  local                                                               
prisoners, opening  a section  at a time,  and bringing  back the                                                               
prisoners in Colorado.   He said that scenario  could be repeated                                                               
at PCC with the hiring of staff  and opening a section at a time.                                                               
He  referred  to  the  visible  recruitment  of  law  enforcement                                                               
officers  for  the  state,  which  has been  a  huge  success  in                                                               
attracting  qualified  applicants  and  filling  positions.    He                                                               
maintained  that  the  Alaska  State  Trooper  (AST)  recruitment                                                               
demonstrates what  a real  priority looks  like.   He recommended                                                               
that DOC mimic what the Department of Public Safety (DPS) did.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:29:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW   asked  whether  there  is   a  backlog  of                                                               
applicants for DOC positions.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  replied that  he does not  know but  suspects there                                                               
are some waiting to be hired.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:29:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS referred to  testimony regarding Alaska prisoners                                                               
joining gangs for self-preservation  in out-of-state prisons.  He                                                               
asked about the environment of  out-of-state private prisons with                                                               
poorly paid employees  that is conducive to  inmates needing gang                                                               
protection.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  responded that private prisons  operate for profit;                                                               
they warehouse prisoners; they cut  costs wherever possible; they                                                               
hire as few officers as they  can; and the officers they hire are                                                               
less  qualified.   Alaska is  in  the prisoner  business for  the                                                               
citizens,  not  money.    Alaska's  officers  are  Alaska  Police                                                               
Standards   Council  (APSC)   certified   and  receive   vigorous                                                               
training.   He said  that at the  private prisons,  because staff                                                               
are poorly  paid, they make  money in other ways  - prostitution,                                                               
drugs,  phones.   Staff are  simultaneously fearful  and corrupt.                                                               
He said,  "They probably hide out  as much as they  can, and it's                                                               
the wild west  in there; they just let the  prisoners take over."                                                               
He  acknowledged that  not all  prisoners  are bad;  some made  a                                                               
simple mistake;  some were  young kids with  no direction  or bad                                                               
family situations.   He stated  that the prisoners are  all mixed                                                               
in  a large  group.   The  bad, heavy-handed  inmates become  the                                                               
leaders; they  form gangs  for business or  for protection.   For                                                               
those  inmates  who are  trying  to  better themselves,  complete                                                               
their  sentences, and  return to  their families,  if they  don't                                                               
join a  gang, all  the gangs  will take  advantage of  them; they                                                               
need the  gang for  protection.   Once the person  has been  in a                                                               
gang for years, it  is very difficult for them to  get out of the                                                               
gang when they return to Alaska.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCLELLAN  mentioned criticism  of  DOC  based on  recidivism                                                               
rates  of Alaska  prisoners.   He  offered  that recidivism  will                                                               
always  be a  concern.   He relayed  that the  released prisoners                                                               
were imprisoned  out of state  for 20  years; they have  not been                                                               
back in state  very long; it takes time for  them to work through                                                               
their issues.   He maintained  that there has been  progress; the                                                               
programs  have  seen  some  successes;  given  time,  they  could                                                               
effectively reduce the recidivism rates.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:33:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked whether there is  a standard timeline                                                               
for training  COs that constitutes  adequate training  to acquire                                                               
the skills for  the position.  She asked also  whether there is a                                                               
budget for the  projected $40 million needed to reopen  PCC.  She                                                               
asked a  third question:   Does  the projection  include behavior                                                               
and addiction health treatment programs and education programs?                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCLELLAN  answered that when a  CO is hired, he/she  is under                                                               
the Field Training Officer (FTO)  program.  Under this program an                                                               
officer is  assigned to  the new hire  to train,  teach, monitor,                                                               
and evaluate.  The training  lasts 12-14 months; the hire attends                                                               
a  two-and-a-half-month academy;  it  is rigorous  training.   He                                                               
maintained that Alaska  COs are far better trained  than most COs                                                               
in  the nation  and probably  in  the world.   In  answer to  the                                                               
second question,  he stated that  $16.8 million  was appropriated                                                               
last legislative  session to reopen  PCC.  He opined  that amount                                                               
would be more than enough to reopen a portion of PCC.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS suggested  that DOC  Deputy Commissioner  Kelley                                                               
Goode   could  answer   Representative   Story's  remaining   two                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA WILSON,  Alaska Correctional Officers  Association (ACOA),                                                               
relayed  that what  is  proposed in  DOC's  request for  proposal                                                               
(RFP) would  not save the  state money;  it would cost  the state                                                               
money, because of  the many hidden costs  associated with sending                                                               
inmates  out of  state to  private prisons.   He  maintained that                                                               
contact  and visitation  for prisoners  is  critical to  reducing                                                               
recidivism.   He stated that  a Florida study found  that inmates                                                               
receiving  visitors  were  31  percent   less  likely  to  commit                                                               
additional  crimes.   Keeping inmates  close  to home  is a  best                                                               
practice;  the federal  government and  other states  now support                                                               
that practice.   He  relayed that  the RFP  does not  include the                                                               
same  level of  programs  that  Alaska prisons  offer.   It  only                                                               
requires the  private prison to offer  three vocational programs.                                                               
The State  of Alaska  currently offers  twelve programs,  and the                                                               
programs  are  excellent.    He   cited  a  2017  Alaska  Justice                                                               
Information  Center  analysis  which found  that  Alaska's  eight                                                               
programs were expected  to reduce recidivism between  20 and 26.3                                                               
percent; the  center estimated that every  avoided conviction for                                                               
an offender who commits a  felony represents a savings of between                                                               
$115,755 and $150,694.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON stated that the  RPF would lengthen incarceration.  He                                                               
cited  a   2017  Mississippi  study  which   showed  that  people                                                               
incarcerated in private  prisons were incarcerated up  to 90 days                                                               
longer than in those  in state prisons.  Every day  that a bed is                                                               
filled  in a  private  prison profits  the  prison and  increases                                                               
costs to  the state.   Punishment is determined by  Alaska judges                                                               
and courts.   Private prisons  should not be allowed  to increase                                                               
their profit margins by extending a prisoner's sentence.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILSON  continued by  saying  that  the  RFP would  allow  a                                                               
private prison  to "cherry-pick"  its inmates.   One of  the ways                                                               
private  prisons shift  costs to  the  state is  by choosing  the                                                               
medium [security]  and minimum [security] prisoners,  who are the                                                               
easiest and  cheapest to incarcerate.   Already the RFP  has been                                                               
amended   to  exclude   any   prisoners   with  serious   medical                                                               
conditions; those prisoners will remain  in Alaska.  Some private                                                               
prisons exclude  sex offenders  - an  expensive population  - and                                                               
thereby  demonstrate  that  their  costs  for  incarceration  are                                                               
cheaper than the state's.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON related  that Alaska would need to  provide safety and                                                               
security for out-of-state inmates.   The RFP only requires Alaska                                                               
inmates to  be counted every  four hours - six  times a day.   In                                                               
Alaska, prisoners are visually  observed by correctional officers                                                               
a minimum of every 45 minutes -  32 times a day.  Private prisons                                                               
are not  required to be  American Correctional  Association (ACA)                                                               
or  National  Commission  on  Correctional  Health  Care  (NCCHC)                                                               
accredited  for two  years.    The RFP  also  sets extremely  low                                                               
standards  for  training  and  experience;  only  40  percent  of                                                               
security staff are required to have  a minimum of one year in law                                                               
enforcement or corrections.   There is no requirement  in the RFP                                                               
that security staff  meet the same standards that  Alaska has for                                                               
COs, which is to be APSC qualified or the equivalent.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:41:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON  relayed that  medical expenses  are a  major expense;                                                               
the RPF  stipulates that  the State  of Alaska  will pay  for the                                                               
cost of  all off-site medical  expenses under $250  and emergency                                                               
emergent  services.   He  stated that  transportation  is a  huge                                                               
cost; the RFP  requires Alaska pay the transportation  costs.  He                                                               
mentioned that  when Alaska brought  inmates back  from Colorado,                                                               
it  cost the  state  about  $2.3 million.    He  referred to  the                                                               
significant number  of administrative  costs:   background checks                                                               
for all private prison visitors;  autopsy and body disposition in                                                               
the  event of  a death;  all review  of prisoner  classification;                                                               
probation; and more.  Under the  RFP the state is responsible for                                                               
litigation costs,  including the  defense of  all post-conviction                                                               
litigation and challenges of people  held in private prisons.  He                                                               
explained that  the contract with  the private prison  includes a                                                               
per diem rate;  however, the costs he is describing  are over and                                                               
above that per diem rate.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON  offered that one  of the  biggest costs to  Alaska is                                                               
the loss of Alaska jobs; the  state would be sending money out of                                                               
state with  no return.   He added  that there would  be increased                                                               
crime, which  means more Alaska  victims.  He expressed  that the                                                               
state expects  costs to increase;  the RFP  anticipates placement                                                               
adjustments and different rates for  additional beds.  He relayed                                                               
that the last time the  state contracted with private prisons the                                                               
price increased almost every year.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON  pointed out  an amendment to  the RPF,  which further                                                               
reduces standards:   the state  gives up authority to  approve or                                                               
disapprove  private  prison  management  staff;  it  triples  the                                                               
period that  the state  must give  determining the  contracts; it                                                               
decreases  DOC oversight  by loosening  the  requirement on  what                                                               
employee records  that private prisons  are required to  give; it                                                               
removes stricter requirements for  the private prison to complete                                                               
a financial audit by an  independent certified public accountant;                                                               
it  removes the  requirement for  the private  prison to  provide                                                               
post-secondary  education; and  the private  prison would  not be                                                               
required   to   staff    specifically   pre-release   pre-reentry                                                               
transition programs.   He added that there is  nothing to prevent                                                               
DOC from further reducing the standards.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILSON declared  that Alaska  statute  requires that  Alaska                                                               
take care of  those who are incarcerated in  its institutions and                                                               
not send  inmates out  if they  cannot get  better rehabilitative                                                               
treatment.   He  said that  it is  clear form  previous testimony                                                               
that  Alaska cannot  fulfill that  requirement under  the RFP  as                                                               
written; private  prisons have  too much leeway  to do  less than                                                               
what Alaska requires at its own facilities.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:44:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS referred to the  DOC response to vendor questions                                                               
on the RPF [not included in the committee packet], which read:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     38.  Vendor Question:  Pg.  54,  Section 4.11  Prisoner                                                                    
     Activities  and Programs,  Subsection D  Post-Secondary                                                                    
     Academic  Programming  -  if the  department  does  not                                                                    
     intend   for   the   Contractor  to   provide   tutors,                                                                    
     supplemental   instructors  and   other  individualized                                                                    
     educational services  as support for prisoners  who opt                                                                    
     to  enroll  in  college courses,  will  the  Department                                                                    
     agree to delete  the second and third  sentences of the                                                                    
     subsection?                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     DOC Response: Yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  explained that the  response indicates  that the                                                               
vendor  would  not  be  offering  post-secondary  services.    He                                                               
continued to cite the document, which read:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     44.  Vendor Question:  Pg.  56,  Section 4.11  Prisoner                                                                    
     activities  and Programs  - Can  the  State clarify  if                                                                    
     there   is   a   requirement    to   staff   the   Pre-                                                                    
     Release/Reentry  Transition  Program with  academic  or                                                                    
     vocational instructors?                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     DOC   Response:   The   PreRelease/Reentry   Transition                                                                    
     program  is   not  a  separate  unit   to  be  staffed.                                                                    
     Contractor  staff,  such   as  institutional  probation                                                                    
     officers  and/or institutional  case managers,  must be                                                                    
     available    to   assist    offenders   in    accessing                                                                    
     programming,   developing  release/reentry   plans  and                                                                    
     collaboration with State probation officers.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  said that DOC's  response was  essentially "no,"                                                               
and the program would be staffed  on an ad hoc basis depending on                                                               
the  officers.   He  concluded that  the  response suggests  that                                                               
there could be  zero post-secondary training at  the private for-                                                               
profit prisons.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  offered  that   in  Alaska,  when  inmates  are                                                               
preparing  to reenter  the community,  some  participate in  work                                                               
release programs.   It saves  money and improves  transition back                                                               
into the community.  He asked  the questions:  a) Is it important                                                               
for  someone returning  to the  community to  have work  to avoid                                                               
recidivating?  and b)  Do for-profit  private  prisons have  zero                                                               
record with  employing inmates returning to  their communities in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON responded that certainly  vocational and work programs                                                               
are  very  valuable;  depending  on the  time  spent  in  prison,                                                               
returning to  the work force  can be very difficult;  training is                                                               
vitally important  and allows a  smoother transition.   He stated                                                               
that what a private prison will offer depends on the contract.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:48:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  about the  backlog of  applicants for                                                               
DOC positions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY  GOODE,  Deputy  Commissioner,  Department  of  Corrections                                                               
(DOC), responded  that there  are people  in different  phases of                                                               
the  application  process;  45   applicants  have  been  given  a                                                               
conditional job offer but must  pass medical testing; on average,                                                               
about 30 percent  will pass the next phase of  testing.  She said                                                               
that  there  isn't  necessarily   a  backlog  but  applicants  in                                                               
different phases of the process.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  if she  is saying  that there  are 45                                                               
potential officers but only 15 will be hired.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  answered correct, due  to the testing.   She explained                                                               
that there  is sight and medical  testing, and 30 percent  is the                                                               
average number who pass.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SHAW asked  for confirmation  that Alaska  DOC is                                                               
short 90 COs.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE replied, that's correct.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:49:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked whether  there is a  budget available                                                               
that  outlines the  projected cost  of reopening  PCC and  backup                                                               
rationale for the  costs.  She asked whether  the budget includes                                                               
the addiction treatment programs and career education programs.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE referred  to the letter from  Commissioner Dahlstrom to                                                               
the  legislators  which  relates  that  reopening  the  PCC  full                                                               
facility would  cost $28.7 million.   She stated that  the amount                                                               
does include substance abuse treatment.   She added that she does                                                               
not have a  breakdown of the budget on hand;  DOC worked with the                                                               
facility to determine  the costs; the cost  includes the one-time                                                               
capital expenditure, staffing, and  operating costs.  She offered                                                               
to provide a breakdown of the costs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:51:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS stated that a  previous DOC breakdown of the cost                                                               
to open the  PCC minimum security facility was  $9.8 million with                                                               
a  five-month timeline;  the  cost to  open  the medium  security                                                               
facility was  $14.4 million with  a nine-month timeline;  and the                                                               
cost to open  both facilities was $21 million with  a timeline of                                                               
twelve months.   He asked  for an explanation of  the discrepancy                                                               
between these numbers and those in the commissioner's letter.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  answered that the costs  Representative Fields relayed                                                               
do not necessarily include the  one-time capital project to ready                                                               
the facility.   She said that the timelines stated  in the letter                                                               
were the most  current and accurate.  She  offered that regarding                                                               
which facility  to open,  it is always  best to  consider opening                                                               
the medium security side, because  it gives DOC more latitude for                                                               
housing.   Medium  security can  take both  minimum security  and                                                               
medium  security prisoners,  whereas, minimum  security can  take                                                               
only minimum security  prisoners.  She explained that  it was for                                                               
this reason  that the  letter addressed the  cost of  opening the                                                               
full facility and the medium security housing unit.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  referred to  the DOC breakdown  that he  cited -                                                               
the nine-month timeline for opening  the medium security facility                                                               
- and  asked why DOC didn't  begin opening the facility  when the                                                               
legislature appropriated $16 million in April.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE referred  to the commissioner's letter  which says that                                                               
it is  not an  "either/or" issue  - reopening  PCC or  issuing an                                                               
RFP.    The  RFP  was  a  response  to  an  immediate  population                                                               
management  crisis that  was building.    The issue  is that  DOC                                                               
cannot  staff  PCC.    The   department  has  an  active  ongoing                                                               
recruiting program.   The commissioner  did not feel that  it was                                                               
responsible to reopen PCC when  statewide there is shortage of 90                                                               
COs.  She mentioned the overtime  and a need to stabilize current                                                               
staffing; opening another facility  would just further stress the                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked  what needs to be done  to address the                                                               
staff shortage.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE   answered  that  unemployment   is  low   in  Alaska;                                                               
therefore, there  is a small workforce  from which to draw.   She                                                               
reiterated  that only  about  30 percent  of  applicants [with  a                                                               
conditional job offer]  pass the tests and take  advantage of the                                                               
job  offer.   She maintained  that DOC  is constantly  recruiting                                                               
statewide and  nationally, attending job fairs,  working with the                                                               
Department  of  Labor  and Workforce  Development  (DOLWFD),  and                                                               
advertising  on social  media.   The  commissioner is  constantly                                                               
looking for ways  to identify new applicants.  She  said that not                                                               
only does Alaska have a shortage  of COs, but nationwide there is                                                               
a shortage.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY   asked   whether  the   commissioner   is                                                               
considering a pay  increase for COs, which has  worked to recruit                                                               
ASTs.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  answered that  there was  a pay  increase in  the most                                                               
recent  union   contract;  DOC  is   looking  at  a   variety  of                                                               
incentives.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:57:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked whether Ms. Goode  could identify any                                                               
barriers  [to  successful  hiring]   that  could  be  eliminated,                                                               
considering  there  is  only  a 30  percent  success  rate  among                                                               
applicants.   She maintained that she  did not want DOC  to lower                                                               
its standards for  public safety but suggested that  there may be                                                               
something DOC could do to raise the success rate.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE clarified that the 30  percent pertains to the group of                                                               
applicants  with  a  conditional  job offer;  for  the  group  of                                                               
applicants as a whole, the success  rate is less than 30 percent.                                                               
She  said  that  on  average,   just  less  than  10  percent  of                                                               
applicants  complete  the  application  process  and  accept  the                                                               
position.   She  offered that  DOC is  looking for  ways to  make                                                               
changes; there  are regulations that  may no longer  be relevant.                                                               
She suggested that DOC may  decide to accept applicants under 21.                                                               
The department  is looking  for changes  in the  guiding statutes                                                               
that would  maintain the quality of  the position but open  it up                                                               
to more people.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:59:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  mentioned  the large  discrepancy  between  the                                                               
March 2019 cost  breakdown from DOC citing $21  million to reopen                                                               
the  PCC  minimum  and  medium  security  facilities  versus  the                                                               
commissioner's letter citing $40 million to reopen PCC.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE replied  that the  commissioner's letter  states $28.7                                                               
million not $40 million.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS relayed  that the  letter states  $28.7 plus  an                                                               
additional capital  project cost  of $11 million,  if DOC  is not                                                               
granted  the  authority by  the  Department  of Transportation  &                                                               
Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to manage the project in-house.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  said that DOC would  hope that DOT&PF would  grant the                                                               
department the authority  to manage the project.   The mention of                                                               
the $11  million was  informational in case  DOT&PF did  not give                                                               
the authority.  It is a  potential additional cost and is outside                                                               
of DOC's control.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  whether  there  is a  date  by which  DOC                                                               
intends to begin the process of reopening PCC.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE  responded that  the  date  depends on  staffing;  the                                                               
process can  start as soon as  the department knows it  can staff                                                               
the facility.   She said  that a  shortage of 90  officers across                                                               
the state "just  isn't okay."  Before DOC  opens another facility                                                               
that needs  to be staffed  at a  safe level, the  commissioner is                                                               
committed to filling the positions currently open.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked the status of the RFP.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE relayed  that the  RFP has  closed and  is now  in the                                                               
procurement process.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:02:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY  asked   whether   the  commissioner   has                                                               
considered  asking for  a  supplemental  [appropriation] for  pay                                                               
increases for staff as an incentive for hiring.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  answered that  should there be  a need  for additional                                                               
funding, the commissioner would  work with the governor's office,                                                               
the Office  of Management  & Budget  (OMB), and  the legislature.                                                               
She  stated that  she  is  not aware  of  any additional  funding                                                               
request.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked whether DOC  is preparing a supplemental to                                                               
the  $16  million  already appropriated  by  the  legislature  to                                                               
reopen PCC.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE reiterated  that the  commissioner is  not considering                                                               
reopening PCC unless it can be staffed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  clarified  that her  question  is  whether                                                               
there  has been  a  consideration to  prepare  a supplemental  to                                                               
provide  the  incentives of  increased  pay  and training,  since                                                               
Alaska has a critical need for 90 staff members now.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  replied that if  incentives identified cannot  be paid                                                               
for out of  the current budget, then the  commissioner would work                                                               
with  OMB and  the legislature  on a  supplemental or  a request.                                                               
She said that DOC would first  look for the funds in the existing                                                               
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:04:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  referred to  a floor amendment  that the                                                               
House approved by a vote of  29-6 to remove language allowing DOC                                                               
to send prisoners out of state.   He stated that the floor debate                                                               
on  the  question  of  DOC  funds  being  used  for  out-of-state                                                               
prisoners  was  quite  clear.   He  asked  for  the  department's                                                               
perspective  on  that  vote and  its  perception  of  legislative                                                               
intent associated  with the vote  vis a vis actions  and policies                                                               
going forward.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  expressed that the  commissioner understands  the need                                                               
and the desire to reopen PCC;  however, that is just one issue of                                                               
two.    One  issue  is   population  management  -  the  [Alaska]                                                               
facilities  are 98  percent populated  - and  the other  issue is                                                               
understaffing.   She  maintained that  it was  the commissioner's                                                               
belief that  the responsible action was  to issue an RFP  so that                                                               
if  Alaska facilities  become  maxed out  at  100 percent,  there                                                               
would  be  a safe  manner  to  house  all  Alaska inmates.    She                                                               
maintained that PCC  is not ready to reopen  currently; even with                                                               
a brand-new  facility, DOC would  not be able  to staff it.   The                                                               
commissioner appreciates and  honors the legislature's viewpoint;                                                               
however, to  provide a  safe and  secure environment  for inmates                                                               
and  staff,  this is  the  path  she had  to  take  to meet  that                                                               
priority.   Ms. Goode reiterated  from the  letter - it's  not an                                                               
either/or, it's managing a current predicament.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:07:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  whether  DOC  could  pursue  an  RFP                                                               
concurrently  with  reopening  PCC  and  aggressively  addressing                                                               
hiring.   He  offered that  Alaska has  the highest  unemployment                                                               
rate  in  the  country  -  almost  double  the  national  rate  -                                                               
therefore, unemployment is not the issue.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE  stated  that  DOC  is  actively  recruiting  for  the                                                               
positions; if there  were enough COs to lessen the  burden on the                                                               
current  staff in  the current  12  facilities, the  commissioner                                                               
could  consider reopening  PCC.   She maintained  that DOC  first                                                               
needs to fill the existing vacancies.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked for a  timeline for reopening  PCC and                                                               
whether  transferring inmates  out  of state  could be  temporary                                                               
until PCC was reopened.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE answered that the  facility spokesperson indicated that                                                               
on average, it would take 12 months to get PCC operational.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  clarified the  second question:   DOC starts                                                               
the process to reopen PCC  tomorrow and aggressively recruits and                                                               
hires staff.  If Alaska  facilities reach 100 percent capacity in                                                               
the next 12 months and inmates  must be transferred out of state,                                                               
could they,  in theory, be returned  to Alaska at the  end of the                                                               
12 months.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GOODE  replied, in  theory,  yes.   The  commissioner  would                                                               
consider that.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked,  "What's stopping  them from  opening                                                               
the Palmer facility, even though it would take 12 months?"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  answered, staffing.   The  commissioner does  not feel                                                               
comfortable with  the current staffing  levels to provide  a safe                                                               
environment.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked,  "Even given  12 months  to hire  the                                                               
people?"                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOODE  said that what is  stopping DOC from reopening  PCC is                                                               
it is  short 90  staff right now  system-wide not  including PCC.                                                               
She said that  the PCC full facility would  require an additional                                                               
74 officers,  plus other staff.   The commissioner  advocates for                                                               
alleviating the  burden on current  staff; the overtime  is real;                                                               
and these positions must be filled first.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:11:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  relayed that to  open GCCC, the state  hired 108                                                               
officers in 10 months; the  department documented in March [2019]                                                               
that  opening just  the medium  security prison  would cost  less                                                               
than the  $16 million appropriated  by the legislature,  could be                                                               
accomplished in  9 months, and has  the capacity to house  all of                                                               
the  prisoners resulting  from passage  of  the crime  bill.   He                                                               
asked, "Why  would we not start  taking the steps now  to open at                                                               
least the  medium side  of PCC, because  obviously the  longer we                                                               
wait to  start, the longer  we wait before  it's ever open."   He                                                               
expressed  his  concern  that  Alaska  would  get  stuck  in  the                                                               
position of sending  prisoners outside for years  and years while                                                               
the  state  never  begins  reopening PCC  due  to  a  challenging                                                               
recruiting situation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:12:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FELIX RIVERA,  Assembly Member,  Municipality of  Anchorage (MOA)                                                               
Assembly, stated that  MOA has a long and  firm history regarding                                                               
private  prisons within  its city  limits.   In 1997,  the Alaska                                                               
State House  of Representatives  tried to  approve a  contract to                                                               
build a private prison in  South Anchorage.  Then Assembly member                                                               
Bob  Bell, representing  South  Anchorage, led  an  effort for  a                                                               
public vote on  the issue, which resulted in  an overwhelming 2-1                                                               
margin against the  idea of a private prison  in South Anchorage.                                                               
Consequently, the  Alaska State  Senate withdrew support  for the                                                               
measure  approved  by   the  House.    He   maintained  that  the                                                               
opposition of  MOA residents to  private prisons has  not changed                                                               
since  1997  and is  perhaps  stronger.    He relayed  that  this                                                               
antipathy and a report he received  from ACOA in early summer led                                                               
him to  conduct research and  public outreach on  private prisons                                                               
and what the Anchorage Assembly  could do within its legal powers                                                               
as  a home-rule  city to  prevent  the opening  and operating  of                                                               
private prisons within the  municipality.  Unfortunately, because                                                               
Alaska  operates  under  a unified  system  of  corrections,  the                                                               
Anchorage Assembly  has little purview to  regulate the operation                                                               
of private prisons within its  boundaries; it is the sole purview                                                               
of  the  legislature.   This  situation  led  him to  crafting  a                                                               
resolution [Resolution No.  2019-434(S-1)] to be voted  on by the                                                               
Assembly on December 17, 2019.   The resolution resolves, without                                                               
equivocation,  that private  prisons  should  not operate  within                                                               
MOA; the  state should not  contract with private  prisons either                                                               
within the  state or out of  state; and the Assembly  opposes the                                                               
placement of  Alaska inmates out  of state.  The  resolution puts                                                               
forth that the Alaska State  Constitution is clear in its mandate                                                               
that criminal  administration should  be based on  the "principle                                                               
of reformation."   He  said that with  the understanding  of this                                                               
constitutionally  mandated  principle,   the  resolution  further                                                               
states  that private  prisons or  sending Alaska  inmates out  of                                                               
state does not fulfill this constitutional duty.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIVERA  stated that  fiscally private  prisons have  not been                                                               
shown to save  money but rather to increase costs  over time.  In                                                               
the current fiscal  climate, it is prudent  to carefully consider                                                               
this.   Additionally,  experience  of other  states with  private                                                               
prisons  have   shown  that  these   operations  do   not  reduce                                                               
recidivism  or prepare  inmates for  reentry, which  goes against                                                               
the constitutional principle of  reformation.  Research has shown                                                               
that  inmates placed  in out-of-state  private facilities  return                                                               
with increased  gang affiliations  and a  great propensity  for a                                                               
"criminal mindset and violent behavior."   The Anchorage Assembly                                                               
and [Anchorage] Mayor  Ethan Berkowitz have made  public safety a                                                               
top  priority.    The  municipality  has  added  over  100  sworn                                                               
officers  to the  Anchorage police  force and  worked to  prevent                                                               
certain  crimes.   The efforts  are beginning  to show  successes                                                               
with a 25 percent or more  reduction in many types of crimes over                                                               
the past three years.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. RIVERA relayed  that the operation of  private prisons within                                                               
Alaska or  sending Alaska inmates  out of state  would contradict                                                               
and could even reverse the  progress made on public safety within                                                               
the municipality.   He encouraged  the legislature to act  on the                                                               
issues outlined in the resolution that's before the Assembly.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:16:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHLEEN  MCLAUGHLIN, Principal  Chief  Executive Officer  (CEO),                                                               
Restorative  &  Reentry Services,  LLC  (RRS),  relayed that  her                                                               
testimony is  on the  community impact  of using  private prisons                                                               
for incarceration.  She said  that she travels around the country                                                               
to  observe  trends and  behaviors  related  to criminal  justice                                                               
reform and  reentry services, especially  community-based reentry                                                               
services.  She stated that the trend  in the Lower 48 is to avoid                                                               
and sunset the use of many  private prisons:  currently Denver is                                                               
sunsetting the use of private  prisons; California is doing so as                                                               
well; New York State has just  decided to close the Rikers Island                                                               
jail and replace it  with community-based correctional facilities                                                               
in New  York City.   The national  trend follows the  belief that                                                               
warehousing  inmates does  not  reduce  recidivism; what  reduces                                                               
recidivism is  the level of  normalization of inmates  while they                                                               
are  incarcerated so  that  they  are ready  to  return into  the                                                               
community as healthy individuals.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  offered that  prior to opening  RSS, she  had the                                                               
pleasure of  being the  director of  the Partners  Reentry Center                                                               
(PRC)  for 5.5  years.   During that  time, the  organization was                                                               
able  to meet  8,500  reentrants.   She  declared  that the  most                                                               
successful reentrants were those with  whom the center had worked                                                               
on pre-release  plans prior  to release to  ensure a  "soft hand-                                                               
off."    It  is  relationship  building that  would  be  lost  if                                                               
prisoners  are transferred  out of  state, because  relationships                                                               
would be broken.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCLAUGHLIN gave  examples of how the community  has helped to                                                               
restore inmates  while they  were incarcerated.   One  example is                                                               
the "lullaby project"; it is  totally community-based, no cost to                                                               
the department of  corrections, and operates with  the consent of                                                               
the  department.   It  is  a  music  therapy program  founded  by                                                               
Shirley  Mae  Staten  four  years ago.    Through  this  program,                                                               
musicians  went into  the Hiland  Mountain Correctional  Facility                                                               
("Hiland")  to  partner  with women  who  were  either  long-term                                                               
inmates ("long  termers") or  young mothers,  who could  create a                                                               
song to honor  and respect family members or other  people in the                                                               
community.   Ms.  McLaughlin relayed  that she  was fortunate  to                                                               
meet a 32-year-old woman who  received a 99-year sentence with 39                                                               
years suspended; they  wrote a song together; and  they were able                                                               
to  build a  healthy relationship  with each  other and  with the                                                               
other musicians.   She mentioned  a "running" program  at Hiland,                                                               
where  community members  run with  female inmates.   She  stated                                                               
that the key is that  relationship building with the community is                                                               
as important as  anything else, and when  inmates are transferred                                                               
out of  state, those  connections are  lost.   She cited  a study                                                               
from  the  University  of  Minnesota  that  demonstrated  that  a                                                               
relationship with  the community and  a healthy family  are among                                                               
the key determinants  of recidivism.  When  inmates are released,                                                               
they have people to  turn to in times of need.   Taking groups of                                                               
Alaskans  out of  state eliminates  the opportunity  for them  to                                                               
build healthy relationships.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:21:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN related  her work  with  the restorative  justice                                                               
program at  SCCC.  The  inmates were  all long termers;  the goal                                                               
was  for them  to  be good  role models  and  assist those  being                                                               
released.    She  maintained that  this  program  represented  an                                                               
inexpensive  method of  normalizing an  institution; it  used the                                                               
services of long  termers and took advantage of  their desire for                                                               
a  purpose.    She  gave  an  example:    With  community  funds,                                                               
University  of  Alaska  Anchorage   (UAA)  professor,  Dr.  Frank                                                               
Jeffries took his "Non-Violent  Conflict Resolution" seminar into                                                               
SCCC.   Of the 35  people taking the  class, 27 graduated.   Long                                                               
termers are now  conducting "train the trainer"  morals and ethic                                                               
classes.   If long termers  were transferred out of  state, these                                                               
positive  changes in  the Alaska  prison would  be eliminated  or                                                               
minimized.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCLAUGHLIN,  to address the  question of whether  inmates are                                                               
incarcerated  longer in  private prisons  than they  would be  in                                                               
public prisons,  cited a study  at the University of  Wisconsin -                                                               
Madison  which showed  that people  assigned  to private  prisons                                                               
were  spending  more  time  behind bars  than  people  in  public                                                               
prisons.   The inmates had  a higher recidivism rate  upon return                                                               
to the community.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN relayed  that 38  percent of  the state's  prison                                                               
population is  Alaska Native, and  they are primarily  from rural                                                               
regions;  only 18  percent of  the state's  population is  Alaska                                                               
Native.    Alaska Natives  are  over-represented  in the  state's                                                               
prison population.   Sending  people with  a rural  Alaska Native                                                               
heritage  to   Arizona  or  Colorado  and   introducing  them  to                                                               
societies that they  do not understand and  that don't understand                                                               
them results in  them bringing back bad behavior.   She expressed                                                               
that  the impact  of learning  bad behavior  in the  out-of-state                                                               
prisons  and  returning  without  reentry  tools  resonates  with                                                               
Alaska Natives on the street even to this day.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  mentioned that  CoreCivic is  one of  the private                                                               
prison  contractors  in Montana;  many  inmates  in Montana  were                                                               
seeking reentry in  Alaska in order to get  into Alaska's reentry                                                               
programs.   She expressed that  after discussions  with CoreCivic                                                               
personnel, she  learned that the  attitude within the walls  of a                                                               
private  prison is  far  different  than in  a  prison where  the                                                               
community  comes into  the  institution  to build  relationships.                                                               
She  said  that  corporations  like  CoreCivic  are  looking  for                                                               
solutions which they are unable  to find because of the mentality                                                               
of warehousing people  versus giving them dignity  and respect to                                                               
move  forward, be  released, and  become healthy  members of  the                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:26:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  LOVELL,   PhD,  Research  Associate   Professor  Emeritus,                                                               
University of  Washington, began with  slide 1 of  his PowerPoint                                                               
presentation, entitled  "Planning for Alaska's Prisons"  and gave                                                               
a  brief  description of  his  background  and experience,  which                                                               
includes philosophy,  social work, and  nursing.  He  stated that                                                               
he  has  worked  in  prisons, with  prisoners,  and  with  prison                                                               
systems for over 40 years.   He also has experience with prisoner                                                               
release  and  treatment programs.  He  offered  that through  his                                                               
research and experience, he can explain how prisons work.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR.  LOVELL turned  to slide  2,  entitled "Introduction,"  which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        • What I'm Not Doing                                                                                                    
          head2right Telling Alaska how to solve its problems                                                                   
          head2right Adding more information to the record of fraud,                                                            
             abuse, concealment, violence, and litigation in                                                                    
             private prisons                                                                                                    
        • For Alaska to develop its own capacities                                                                              
          IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  moved on to  slide 3, entitled "Outline,"  which read                                                               
in part:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        1. Private prisons are not legitimate                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  LOVELL explained  that  the concept  of  legitimacy is  very                                                               
important by the fact that prisons  are a punishment.  Reform and                                                               
rehabilitation  are important  goals to  pursue, but  inmates are                                                               
incarcerated  because  they  are   being  punished.    They  have                                                               
committed  crimes bad  enough to  warrant them  removed from  the                                                               
community.  Imprisonment  is the result of a  moral judgement; it                                                               
is very important to maintain  the legitimacy of imprisonment for                                                               
there to be success.   People delivering programs to inmates must                                                               
be believed.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL continued with slide 3, which read:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        2. Sending people out of State is a sign of policy                                                                      
         failure                                                                                                                
        ? Keeping   state   prisoners    in   state   public                                                                    
         institutions is doing the right thing.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  cited criminal justice  reforms in California  - some                                                               
jails were  able to manage  the influx of prisoners,  others were                                                               
not.  He  stated that the situation in which  Alaska finds itself                                                               
is  because somebody  somewhere failed  to do  adequate planning.                                                               
He  said that  just  knowing  the right  thing  to  do -  keeping                                                               
prisoners  in  state  -  does   not  mean  Alaska  knows  how  to                                                               
accomplish it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL made a final point, shown on slide 3, which read:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        3. Alaskans can solve problems themselves by working                                                                    
        together to do the right thing.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  LOVELL says  that he  has some  understanding of  Alaska; he                                                               
married into  one of Metlakatla's  oldest families and  spent his                                                               
first year  of retirement in Ketchikan.   He maintained he  has a                                                               
great deal of affection for Alaska and its people.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  referred to slide  4, entitled "Private  agencies may                                                               
provide legitimate and useful services," which read:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
        • Even in a clear case of nepotism, like mine                                                                           
        • Community members and professionals building                                                                          
          programs together                                                                                                     
        • Even for-profits   (Pioneer,   Napa   BI),   if:                                                                      
          MOTIVATION & MANAGEMENT FOCUS LOCALLY                                                                                 
          "We sic dawgs on consultants"                                                                                         
          --Kurt    Peterson,     Superintendent,    Shelton                                                                    
          Correctional Facility                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  relayed that he got  his start 40 years  ago from his                                                               
uncle,  who was  working  as  a private  contractor  at a  prison                                                               
providing counseling  services to inmates.   He gave  examples of                                                               
community programs  - Seattle  Mental Health,  Washington State's                                                               
Dangerous  Mentally  Ill  Offender (DMIO)  program,  and  Pioneer                                                               
Human Services  in Seattle.   He  mentioned that  even for-profit                                                               
agencies can provide useful services.   He cited some ineffective                                                               
programs from companies with a  poor understanding of the problem                                                               
and ready  to sell  a solution that  didn't address  the problem.                                                               
He stated that  the critical factor is for the  focus to be local                                                               
and the  consultant to  understand the  client.   He acknowledged                                                               
that  private   agencies  may   provide  legitimate   and  useful                                                               
services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:36:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  turned to  slide 5,  entitled "Not  Private Prisons,"                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
        • Ample evidence shows fraud, abuse, violence, and                                                                      
          litigation; but why?                                                                                                  
          head2right Profit the motivation, not performance                                                                     
          head2right Litigation a cost of doing business                                                                        
          head2right Protected from public disclosure requirements                                                              
        • Accountability is the issue                                                                                           
        • National scope of major firms blocks oversight                                                                        
          and reform, but issues are:                                                                                           
               FUNDAMENTAL, NOT PROCEDURAL                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  LOVELL  maintained  that in  public  facilities  people  are                                                               
motivated  to work  together to  develop solutions  for problems,                                                               
such as prisoner overflow; the  incentive is to reduce the prison                                                               
population.   He said,  "God help  us if we  let our  policies be                                                               
influenced by  large national corporations that  actually have an                                                               
incentive to keep  more people longer - that's  exactly the wrong                                                               
kind of incentive  ...."  He continued by  discussing the routine                                                               
use of litigation in lieu  of adequate staffing, training, inmate                                                               
well-being, and treatment; if the  prison is caught not following                                                               
the  rules,  they will  just  pay  for  it  later.   Finally,  he                                                               
explained that  by the very nature  of prisons and the  role they                                                               
play in society, accountability is  always an issue.  Prisons are                                                               
constrained  by their  budgets and  the state's  sentencing laws;                                                               
therefore,  they find  themselves in  situations that  they can't                                                               
control, and  they are the  only agencies that cannot  send their                                                               
tough cases elsewhere.   Prison systems are  managing a high-risk                                                               
situation; their  problems are aggravated  by placing a  layer of                                                               
corporate interest  between the  state, the legislature,  and the                                                               
treatment  of prisoners.   Abuses  go  unchecked; private  prison                                                               
corporations  try  to hide  the  evidence;  and opportunities  to                                                               
"pass the  buck" multiply.   He emphasized  that the  problems of                                                               
private prisons are not procedural but fundamental.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:40:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  moved on to  slide 6, entitled "Private  vs. Public,"                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The risk of violence and abuse of power is inherent to                                                                     
     prisons                                                                                                                    
     --Hence, no shortage of horror stories . . .                                                                               
     • Whose duty is it to meet legal and constitutional                                                                        
        obligations?                                                                                                            
                    --DeShaney principle                                                                                        
     ON WHOSE BEHALF?                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR.   LOVELL  acknowledged   that   some   conditions,  such   as                                                               
understaffing and  overcrowding, effect all prisons;  the risk of                                                               
violence and abuse of power is  inherent in prisons; and there is                                                               
no shortage  of prison horror  stories from  many years ago.   He                                                               
maintained  that  what  he  has learned  about  the  things  that                                                               
occurred in the  private prisons in Mississippi  could never have                                                               
happened at  any of the prisons  with which he is  familiar; they                                                               
are things  that should  not happen anywhere.   He  asserted that                                                               
when  these things  do  occur,  it is  a  sign  of a  fundamental                                                               
breakdown   in  the   system;  the   system   is  not   committed                                                               
fundamentally to  the legal  and constitutional  obligations that                                                               
apply  to those  who  perform legitimate  criminal punishment  on                                                               
behalf of the public.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:42:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOVELL referred to slide  7, entitled "We, the People," which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        • Adopt a democratic form of government to protect                                                                      
          our rights and freedoms                                                                                               
        • We trust the   government  rather  than  private                                                                      
          vengeance to deter and punish                                                                                         
        • Criminal punishment is the most severe power the                                                                      
          government exercises (cf. Amendments 4-8 of Bill                                                                      
          of Rights)                                                                                                            
        • Public servants are bound by oath to respect our                                                                      
          rights                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOVELL added  that people  understand that  the benefits  of                                                               
mutual cooperation  and trust  are only  available to  the extent                                                               
that others  will not intrude  upon them  - not steal  from them,                                                               
not  hurt them,  not  make their  lives  miserable and  insecure.                                                               
People understand  the bloodshed that  will result if  people are                                                               
forced  to  protect  themselves.    He  mentioned  the  "DeShaney                                                               
principle"  [U.S.  Supreme  Court  case,  DeShaney  v.  Winnebago                                                             
County, 1989], which states that  while people are in the custody                                                             
of  the  state, it  has  the  duty  to  protect them  from  harm.                                                               
Everyone  who works  in a  prison is  bound by  that duty,  which                                                               
includes maintaining  a safe and  secure environment  for inmates                                                               
and staff.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOVELL  turned to  slide 8,  entitled "Rule  of Law  and Just                                                               
Punishment," which read:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        • Our constitution places  the exercise  of  state                                                                      
          power under the rule of law                                                                                           
        1. People are imperfect  and may abuse  power unless                                                                    
        private motives are curbed                                                                                              
        2. Profit is no legitimate motive for exercising the                                                                    
        power to punish                                                                                                         
        ?Private prisons undermine the  rule of law  and the                                                                    
        legitimacy of criminal justice                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. LOVELL  moved to  slide 9,  entitled "Developing  capacity in                                                               
Alaska is the Right Thing to Do," which read:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        • Who cares what happens to our people when they're                                                                     
          a continent away?                                                                                                     
        • There is always an official reason for a failing                                                                      
          policy, and usually an alternative                                                                                    
        • Alaskans can solve their  own  problems if  they                                                                      
          work together to do the right thing.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.LOVELL  asked,   "To  whom   should  their   families  address                                                               
themselves, if they hear their  sons being coerced into joining a                                                               
prisoner  gang,  their daughter  is  being  sexually harassed  by                                                               
staff,  their mentally  ill  brother is  being  held in  solitary                                                               
confinement  rather   than  treated?"    He   asked  whether  the                                                               
suffering of prisoners  is included in the analysis  of the costs                                                               
of keeping  them in state rather  then sending them to  a private                                                               
facility that  is - especially  for Alaska Natives -  an entirely                                                               
alien world.  He declared,  "Here lies the greatest potential for                                                               
lasting   damage,   not  only   to   prisoners   but  to   Alaska                                                               
communities."   He reiterated that  Alaskans can solve  their own                                                               
problems if they work together to do the right thing.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:46:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRIA  VANDENHUERK relayed  that  she is  a restorative  justice                                                               
consultant and coach;  she was formerly incarcerated;  and she is                                                               
married to the  founder and former leader of the  Low Life prison                                                               
gang.  She said the she has  known her husband for 20 years, knew                                                               
him before he went to the  Arizona prison, and witnessed what the                                                               
private prison  can do  to someone.   She related  the challenges                                                               
her  husband  has encountered  since  he  retired from  his  gang                                                               
affiliation.   Her  husband continues  to live  by the  "criminal                                                               
code" even though he is now in the Alaska prison system.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  VANDENHUERK mentioned  that there  are private  corporations                                                               
that operate  within the  Alaska prison system.   The  GEO Group,                                                               
Inc. (GEO) operates Alaska halfway  houses.  Securus Technologies                                                               
charges for inmate phone calls; it  is a huge cost for prisoners;                                                               
and prisoners who are poor  cannot receive phone calls from their                                                               
loved ones.   She added that DOC received $1.2  million this year                                                               
in kickbacks from Securus for  these phone calls.  She maintained                                                               
that  attention should  be given  to what  is transpiring  within                                                               
Alaska's own prison facilities.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. VANDENHUERK emphasized the  need for rehabilitation programs.                                                               
She   mentioned   two   successful  programs   that   have   been                                                               
discontinued   under    the   current   administration.       The                                                               
Transformational Living Community (TLC) program  had a 28 percent                                                               
recidivism rate,  compared with  the state's  overall rate  of 67                                                               
percent.   The  Residential Substance  Abuse Treatment  for State                                                               
Prisoners Program (RSAT) offered  substance abuse treatment.  The                                                               
discontinuance  of these  programs  has  negatively affected  her                                                               
husband's  rehabilitation.    She reiterated  the  importance  of                                                               
focusing  on  DOC  institutions.    She  related  several  prison                                                               
incidences and  ACOA's use of  her husband's picture in  a social                                                               
media campaign.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. VANDENHUERK concluded  by saying that Alaska  should not send                                                               
prisoners to outside prisons; it  should focus on rehabilitation;                                                               
it should  look for solutions  to problems within its  own prison                                                               
system.  She recommended body cameras and drug dogs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:54:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EUGENE  HABERMAN offered  that  Alaska's  prisoners are  Alaska's                                                               
responsibility  and not  that of  another state.   He  maintained                                                               
that  separating  Alaska  prisoners  from Alaska  makes  it  more                                                               
difficult  for them  to  keep  connections with  the  state.   He                                                               
expressed his  belief that  the issue  of prison  overcapacity is                                                               
nothing new, it has spanned  multiple administrations, and prison                                                               
facilities have been modified to  accept more prisoners, which is                                                               
unsafe.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HABERMAN  referred  to  the  Anchorage  Assembly  resolution                                                               
regarding the operation of private  prisons within MOA and stated                                                               
that because  the resolution  was on  the consent  agenda, public                                                               
comment was not  allowed.  He maintained that  state law requires                                                               
a  reasonable  opportunity  for  the  public to  be  heard.    He                                                               
expressed his appreciation for the  opportunity of public comment                                                               
during  the presentation.   He  asked  for the  number of  Alaska                                                               
prisoners currently out of state.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:59:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  REDLINGER testified  that  he is  a retired  correctional                                                               
officer from  SCCC.  He relayed  that there is a  CO shortage; he                                                               
hears about  the overtime  that officers are  working.   He asked                                                               
how long  Alaska has been  short 90 officers; what  the breakdown                                                               
of the  shortage is by facility;  and the trends in  the shortage                                                               
from the  time Commissioner  Dahlstrom became  commissioner until                                                               
the  present.    He  stated  that years  ago  he  spoke  to  then                                                               
Commissioner   Dean  Williams   and  Deputy   Commissioner  Clare                                                               
Sullivan about  [hiring] incentives.   He said, "Why are  we just                                                               
talking about it?   Let's put some 'rubber on  the road' here and                                                               
do something.  We know we have an issue."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:01:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TRIADA STAMPAS,  Policy Director, American Civil  Liberties Union                                                               
(ACLU) Alaska, relayed  that ACLU Alaska shares  all the concerns                                                               
about private  prisons and outsourcing  prisoners that  have been                                                               
discussed.   She referred to  her written testimony  [included in                                                               
the  committee packet].    She stated  that  private prisons  and                                                               
prisoner outsourcing fails to address  one of the main drivers of                                                               
overcrowding in Alaska's prison system.   She said that currently                                                               
half the prison population in  Alaska is unsentenced; they are in                                                               
prison awaiting trial or between  court appearances.  She relayed                                                               
that DOC's RFP is for long-term  sentenced inmates to be sent out                                                               
of state; it would do nothing  to address the 20 percent increase                                                               
in  the unsentenced  population  that has  occurred  in the  past                                                               
year.   She said that the  largest proportion of the  increase in                                                               
pre-trial   admissions   consists  of   non-violent   misdemeanor                                                               
offenders.  It is this  increase that is driving the overcrowding                                                               
in  the  prison  system.   She  expressed  her  appreciation  for                                                               
legislative oversight and encouraged  the committee to extend its                                                               
focus  to  the   main  drivers  of  prison   overcrowding.    She                                                               
maintained that  neither outsourcing prisoners nor  reopening PCC                                                               
would  address the  overcrowding  problem, which  is  due to  the                                                               
burgeoning pre-trial population.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[CO-CHAIR FIELDS closed public testimony.]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:04:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 4:04                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Lovell CV 19.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Lovell Issue Brief 3.8.19.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Lovell Outline.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Lovell Presentation PDF.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Chet Adkins 3rd LTR April 2011.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Chet Adkins 4th LTR July 5 2011.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Chet Adkins 5th LTR December 2011.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Chet Adkins 5th Pt 2 January 2012 prolog.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
ACOA Private Prisons in AK.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Pirvate Prisons
Supplemental Committee Documents HSTA Hearing 12.11.19.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons
Supporting Document ACLU Opposition to Private Prisons 12.11.19.pdf HSTA 12/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
Private Prisons