Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

02/13/2020 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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03:02:26 PM Start
03:02:46 PM Presentation: Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry Report Overview
04:57:27 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry TELECONFERENCED
Report Overview by Laura Brooks, Div. Operations
Manager, Div. of Health & Rehabilitation Services
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
              HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                        February 13, 2020                                                                                       
                            3:02 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Co-Chair                                                                                
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION:  ALASKA REHABILITATION & REENTRY REPORT OVERVIEW                                                                  
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
DOUG WOOLIVER, Deputy Administrative Director                                                                                   
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation, entitled "Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry Report                                                                  
LAURA BROOKS, Health Care Administrator                                                                                         
Division of Health and Rehabilitation Services                                                                                  
Department of Corrections (DOC)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Presented  "Alaska   Rehabilitation  and                                                             
Reentry  A  Report  to  the   Legislature"  with  the  use  of  a                                                               
PowerPoint presentation.                                                                                                        
JENNIFER WINKELMAN, Acting Deputy Commissioner                                                                                  
Department of Corrections (DOC)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered  questions during the presentation,                                                             
entitled "Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry Report Overview."                                                                     
TERI TIBBETT, Co-Chair                                                                                                          
Juneau Reentry Coalition                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,  entitled "Alaska  Rehabilitation &  Reentry Report                                                               
JANET MCCABE, Chair                                                                                                             
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Partners for Progress                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,  entitled "Alaska  Rehabilitation &  Reentry Report                                                               
JOSHUA SOPKO, Director                                                                                                          
Partners Reentry Center                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,  entitled "Alaska  Rehabilitation &  Reentry Report                                                               
BARBARA MONGAR, Coordinator                                                                                                     
MatSu Reentry Coalition                                                                                                         
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,  entitled "Alaska  Rehabilitation &  Reentry Report                                                               
BOBBY DORTON                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks Native Association                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation,  entitled "Alaska  Rehabilitation &  Reentry Report                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:02:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZACK FIELDS  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   3:02  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Thompson,  Hopkins,   Story,  Fields,  and   Kreiss-Tomkins  were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
^PRESENTATION:  Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry Report Overview                                                                 
  PRESENTATION:  Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry Report Overview                                                            
3:02:46 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Deputy  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court                                                               
System (ACS), relayed that all  therapeutic courts have one thing                                                               
in  common -  they try  to  resolve the  underlying problem  that                                                               
brought the person  into the criminal justice system  or into the                                                               
Child in Need  of Aid (CINA) system.   Alaska's therapeutic court                                                               
was started in  the late 1990's by two Anchorage  judges with the                                                               
Alaska District Court  - Judge Jim Wanamaker  and Judge Stephanie                                                               
Rhoades.  Judge Wanamaker started  Alaska's first substance abuse                                                               
court  -  a   "driving  under  the  influence   (DUI)"  court  in                                                               
Anchorage.  Judge Rhoades started  one of the nation's very first                                                               
mental health  courts.  They  started the courts out  of personal                                                               
frustration with  seeing the  same people  come back  before them                                                               
repeatedly for crimes  that they saw as clearly  related to their                                                               
underlying substance  abuse and  mental health problems,  and the                                                               
whole system knew that that was  why these people were back again                                                               
and again.  He offered that it  made no sense to continue to send                                                               
them  to jail,  which not  only  didn't address  the problem  and                                                               
didn't  stop them  from committing  crimes,  but frequently  made                                                               
things worse; therefore,  the judges started the two  courts.  He                                                               
stated  that  currently Alaska  has  a  total of  12  therapeutic                                                               
courts around the state.   Although the courts mostly engage with                                                               
criminal cases  - both misdemeanor  and felony cases -  they also                                                               
engage with - to a lesser  degree - people involved with the CINA                                                               
MR. WOOLIVER  explained how the  criminal courts function:   They                                                               
are all  "post plea."   "You plead guilty  to the crime  that you                                                               
have been  charged with or  whatever the plea agreement  is, with                                                               
the understanding that if you  complete therapeutic court ... you                                                               
then withdraw your  plea and you get the benefit  of whatever the                                                               
underlying agreement was."   The benefits might  be a significant                                                               
reduction  in the  sentence, a  reduced  crime, or  maybe even  a                                                               
dismissal of the  case.  He maintained that  this constitutes the                                                               
legal incentive to  participate.  The courts  run generally about                                                               
18 months; and  they are difficult to complete.   He offered that                                                               
one  of  the challenges  of  all  therapeutic courts  is  getting                                                               
offenders to  participate.   For a  person who  has been  in jail                                                               
many times for  minor crimes, jail is not that  difficult.  For a                                                               
60-day, 90-day,  or 120-day sentence,  the offender may  elect to                                                               
serve the  sentence rather than  spend 18 months in  an intensive                                                               
program to address his/her underlying  problems.  He added that a                                                               
therapeutic  court  is  also  difficult  because  many  of  these                                                               
offenders are  addressing lifetime addiction  problems, substance                                                               
abuse problems,  and mental health  problems, and these  are hard                                                               
problems to  overcome.  He said,  "Even in the best  of times and                                                               
the best  circumstances, these are still  very difficult programs                                                               
to get through."                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER  relayed that  there are  substance abuse  courts in                                                               
Anchorage,   Bethel,   Fairbanks,   Kenai,  Palmer,   and   other                                                               
communities.   The  [Anchorage Veterans  Court] is  a therapeutic                                                               
court for  veterans; since veterans have  similar experiences and                                                               
a comradery,  participating in the  court together is  helpful to                                                               
them.  He  continued by saying there are mental  health courts in                                                               
Anchorage, Juneau, and  Palmer.  For substance  abuse courts, ACS                                                               
has contracted with local providers  for therapy, counseling, and                                                               
treatment in all  the communities with the  courts; the providers                                                               
must  offer services  within five  workdays  of a  referral.   He                                                               
offered that  the advantage  of a substance  abuse court  is that                                                               
due to  the contract, the  needs of the participant  are attended                                                               
to promptly.   He  acknowledged that there  is a  lengthier delay                                                               
for treatment in connection with  mental health courts because of                                                               
the lack  of availability of  treatment providers.   He mentioned                                                               
that  many  of the  offenders  have  a  combination of  issues  -                                                               
alcohol,  drug,  and  mental health;  the  more  issues  compiled                                                               
together, the more difficult they are  to treat and the fewer the                                                               
qualified providers available to treat them.                                                                                    
3:09:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WOOLIVER  said that  another challenge  is finding  "safe and                                                               
sober" housing for  the participants.  When  someone leaves jail,                                                               
it is not good for that  person to return to the environment that                                                               
facilitated  the  problem.    It   is  difficult  to  overcome  a                                                               
significant substance  abuse problem - "particularly  when that's                                                               
your whole life, those are  all your friends, and your neighbors,                                                               
and your roommates, and maybe your family members."                                                                             
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked whether staff  at the reentry centers, such                                                               
as  Partners  Reentry  Center, are  assisting  therapeutic  court                                                               
participants  with  housing,  or  whether a  different  group  of                                                               
people are helping them.                                                                                                        
MR. WOOLIVER  emphasized the significant  role that  Partners for                                                               
Progress has had  since the beginning of  the therapeutic courts.                                                               
He  relayed  that  Janet  McCabe   [Chair,  Board  of  Directors,                                                               
Partners  for Progress]  has  been  a pioneer  in  the field  and                                                               
incredibly helpful to the courts.                                                                                               
MR.  WOOLIVER continued  by saying  that there  are currently  12                                                               
courts.   The  goal is  to reduce  recidivism:   research by  the                                                               
Alaska  Judicial  Council  found  that within  a  year  of  being                                                               
released   for  a   misdemeanor,  9   percent  of   graduates  of                                                               
therapeutic courts  were reconvicted compared with  25 percent of                                                               
those who  were not  in the program;  for felons,  the statistics                                                               
were  12 percent  versus 23  percent.   He offered  that although                                                               
therapeutic courts reduced recidivism,  they are not a "panacea";                                                               
the  offenders  are still  trying  to  overcome some  significant                                                               
hurdles in  their lives;  and many have  other issues  to contend                                                               
with  as well.   He  maintained that  therapeutic courts  offer a                                                               
better system; and ACS would like  to have more of them; however,                                                               
there  are  many  requirements   -  treatment  providers  in  the                                                               
community who  are trained  to work with  offenders, a  judge who                                                               
has  been trained  in therapeutic  courts, a  prosecutor who  has                                                               
been trained  in therapeutic courts,  and a defense  attorney who                                                               
have  been  trained in  therapeutic  courts.   Because  there  is                                                               
constant turnover  of personnel, maintaining a  trained staff and                                                               
continuity  with clients  is challenging.    He mentioned  budget                                                               
increment requests to facilitate the system.                                                                                    
3:12:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS stated that  there is interest in starting                                                               
a veterans' court in Fairbanks; there  is a judge who is a former                                                               
marine who is very interested.   He asked whether one therapeutic                                                               
court in a community facilitates starting another.                                                                              
MR.   WOOLIVER  answered   affirmatively.     He  said   that  an                                                               
enthusiastic judge  in Fairbanks  would make  it easier  to start                                                               
another  court in  the community.   He  contended that  there are                                                               
other  pieces to  establishing a  therapeutic  court; the  Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court must approve each  new therapeutic court because it                                                               
is resource intensive  and it impacts how cases  move through the                                                               
court  system.   A  probation  officer (PO)  who  can handle  the                                                               
additional  cases  is  needed.     He  maintained  that  the  ACS                                                               
therapeutic courts  coordinator -  Michelle Bartley -  is working                                                               
with the group in Fairbanks  that wishes to establish a veterans'                                                               
3:14:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY  asked   whether  the   therapeutic  court                                                               
encompasses "Youth Court."                                                                                                      
MR. WOOLIVER responded that Youth Court is separate.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE STORY offered her support for therapeutic courts.                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  expressed   his  appreciation  for  the                                                               
therapeutic court program.   He asserted that  evidence bears out                                                               
that therapeutic courts  are cost effective.   He maintained that                                                               
there must be a "financial  mechanism that can be engineered that                                                               
proves up  in a dollars  and cents  way via bonding  or something                                                               
that  accounts   for  the   (indisc.)  associated   with  reduced                                                               
recidivism  that literally  makes  institutions like  therapeutic                                                               
courts pay  for themselves."  He  added that the Pay  for Success                                                               
(PFS) Social Impact  Bond is an attempt  to do so.   He said, "It                                                               
would be really wonderful if there  was a way to make the dollars                                                               
and  cents  really  speak  for  themselves  and  create  a  self-                                                               
perpetuating  revenue  stream  that ideally  could  encompass  or                                                               
annex a greater portion of criminal justice workflow."                                                                          
3:16:37 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURA BROOKS,  Health Care Administrator, Division  of Health and                                                               
Rehabilitation   Services,  Department   of  Corrections   (DOC),                                                               
relayed that  as a provision of  HB 49 [signed into  law 7/8/19],                                                               
DOC was  required to  submit to  the legislature  a comprehensive                                                               
review  of DOC's  rehabilitative efforts  to address  recidivism.                                                               
The  report   is  a  multi-agency   effort  which   includes  the                                                               
Department  of  Labor  and  Workforce  Development  (DOLWD),  the                                                               
Department  of   Education  &   Early  Development   (DEED),  the                                                               
Department  of  Health and  Social  Services  (DHSS), the  Alaska                                                               
Mental Health  Trust Authority (AMHTA), the  Department of Public                                                               
Safety (DPS),  local governments,  and community providers.   She                                                               
maintained  that for  effective  reentry, it  takes efforts  from                                                               
everyone.   The report  reviews current  practices, up-and-coming                                                               
practices, and the gaps.                                                                                                        
MS.  BROOKS   turned  to  slide   2  and  stated   that  Alaska's                                                               
correctional  system is  a  unified system,  and  there are  only                                                               
seven unified  systems in  the country.   Alaska DOC  serves both                                                               
sentenced  and  unsentenced  prisoners,  for  both  felonies  and                                                               
misdemeanors,   in  one   combined   system;   its  jails   house                                                               
unsentenced  inmates, and  its prisons  house sentenced  inmates.                                                               
She relayed the information on slide  2:  During fiscal year 2019                                                               
(FY19) Alaska  had 33,813  arrests involving  21,661 individuals;                                                               
there  were 33,834  releases involving  19,148 individuals.   She                                                               
related  that "someone  is coming  and going  in DOC  every eight                                                               
minutes  of  every  day  all  year long."    She  emphasized  the                                                               
importance of these  statistics as they relate  to reentry; there                                                               
is  a   quick  turnover  in  the   incarcerated  population;  the                                                               
unsentenced population  plays a critical part  in affecting DOC's                                                               
ability  to  develop  reentry  plans;  some  of  the  unsentenced                                                               
inmates are out in  a few days or even one  hour.  She maintained                                                               
that for  reentry planning, DOC  asks the  questions:  Who  do we                                                               
need  to focus  on?   For  whom do  we  have the  best chance  of                                                               
developing  a   plan  that  will   really  affect   the  person's                                                               
recidivism and  likelihood to  return?  She  noted that  while 95                                                               
percent  of the  DOC  population return  to  the community,  only                                                               
about  25 percent  of those  are released  on supervision.   That                                                               
means  that only  about 25  percent  of the  individuals who  are                                                               
released  have a  PO who  can continue  to help  them with  their                                                               
reentry plans  and help  them access the  resources they  need in                                                               
the community.   She said that  the other 75 percent  do not have                                                               
POs to assist them.                                                                                                             
MS. BROOKS  turned to slide  3, to give the  statutory definition                                                               
of recidivism, which read:                                                                                                      
     AS 44.19.647                                                                                                             
     All felons released  within a given year  who return to                                                                    
     incarceration  within  three   years  for  any  offense                                                                    
     conviction (felony or  misdemeanor) or probation/parole                                                                    
3:21:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS explained that the  most current recidivism statistics                                                               
are  for [calendar  year (CY)]  2016, because  that was  the last                                                               
cohort that  left DOC for  whom there is a  three-year timeframe.                                                               
She reviewed  the chart  on slide  4 and  pointed out  that after                                                               
being in  the upper  60th percentile for  decades, Alaska  is now                                                               
experiencing a  downward trend in  recidivism; and for  the first                                                               
time  since data  collection began  in 2002,  Alaska is  under 60                                                               
percent recidivism -  59.96 percent.  That represents  about a 10                                                               
percent reduction in ten years.   She maintained that the success                                                               
is most  likely due to a  combination of factors:   an aggressive                                                               
shift  toward evidence-based  programming; assessment  tools that                                                               
help  staff focus  on specific  criminogenic risk  factors of  an                                                               
individual;   focused   reentry    planning;   a   shift   toward                                                               
administrative  sanctions through  the  Division  of Probation  &                                                               
Parole;  and the  community partnerships  that have  developed to                                                               
extend  safety  nets and  supports  for  individuals exiting  the                                                               
criminal justice system.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  asked what  one  would  expect to  see  in                                                               
states with the lowest recidivism rates.                                                                                        
MS. BROOKS  responded that in  looking at reentry  efforts around                                                               
the country,  there is an  emphasis on  evidence-based practices.                                                               
The  rehabilitative   programs  that  are  being   developed  are                                                               
supported by  good research that demonstrates  they are effective                                                               
for the incarcerated population.   She said Alaska's DOC has made                                                               
a concerted  effort toward these  practices in the past  three to                                                               
five years; it  is continuing to evaluate the  programs to ensure                                                               
it is meeting the best practice standards.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY asked  what recidivism  rates other  states                                                               
have  achieved  that have  pursued  the  best practices  programs                                                               
longer than Alaska.                                                                                                             
MS.  BROOKS answered  that  it is  difficult  to compare  states.                                                               
Alaska has a  unified system, but other  states include different                                                               
segments  of  the  corrections  population  in  their  recidivism                                                               
numbers.    She  maintained  that   DOC  is  looking  for  states                                                               
comparable to Alaska  as the department moves  into other reentry                                                               
practices.  She  mentioned the U.S. Bureau  of Justice Statistics                                                               
(BJS) study  that reviewed 30  states and 400,000  offenders; the                                                               
overall recidivism rate was 68 percent.                                                                                         
MS.  BROOKS  moved to  slide  5,  entitled "Rehabilitation,"  and                                                               
stated that rehabilitation occurs from  the time the inmate comes                                                               
into  the correctional  system to  the time  of release  and even                                                               
beyond into  the community.   She  maintained that  DOC struggles                                                               
with  offender  participation:    DOC  cannot  require  or  force                                                               
offenders to participate in programs;  DOC puts programs in place                                                               
and tries  to offer incentives;  however, ultimately it is  up to                                                               
the inmate  to participate.  She  said that DOC ensures  that the                                                               
programs  are evidence-based,  meet industry  standards, and  are                                                               
supported by  research.  She  emphasized three  important aspects                                                               
of program delivery:   the right programs to the  right people at                                                               
the right time.                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  whether there  are  examples  of                                                               
programs  that   were  transitioned  out  because   they  weren't                                                               
evidence-based;  and  conversely,  whether there  have  been  new                                                               
programs  introduced  that  are   evidence-based  that  were  not                                                               
previously administered.                                                                                                        
MR. BROOKS  said yes.     She offered that  over the  years there                                                               
have  been  several  programs from  different  sources;  however,                                                               
because of the concerted effort  to demonstrate that programs are                                                               
evidence-based, DOC  now has supporting  data.  She  relayed that                                                               
DOC has eliminated certain programs  and brought in new programs.                                                               
The  department is  currently implementing  a couple  of programs                                                               
that  address offender  thinking, criminal  thinking errors,  and                                                               
general criminal  attitudes.  She  maintained that one  issue for                                                               
DOC is making sure that the  program being offered is true to the                                                               
fidelity of  the model;  DOC must ensure  that the  providers are                                                               
properly trained.  She gave  the example of administering General                                                               
Educational  Development (GED)  tests:   DOC knows  that it  is a                                                               
good   program;  however,   DOC  must   ensure  that   staff  and                                                               
contractors are providing the service  according to the evidence-                                                               
based requirements of the program.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked whether  DOC contracts  with trainers                                                               
to train staff in administering programs.                                                                                       
MS.  BROOKS  answered that  it  depends  on  the program:    some                                                               
programs that DOC has purchased  come with a training module; for                                                               
some, trainers will come to Alaska  to train DOC staff; for other                                                               
programs,  DOC  sends  staff to  training;  some  programs  offer                                                               
online options for  training.  She added that  an important piece                                                               
of  an evidence-based  model is  auditing the  program to  ensure                                                               
that it is being delivered as the training dictates.                                                                            
3:28:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BROOKS continued  with slide  6 to  review the  dynamic risk                                                               
factors  that when  changed or  addressed, alter  the probability                                                               
that  someone will  re-offend.   The  DOC chooses  evidence-based                                                               
programs  to  address  the   "Central  Eight"  criminogenic  risk                                                               
factors.  She  listed the following factors:   criminal thinking;                                                               
antisocial  peer groups;  educational background;  employment and                                                               
employability;   substance  use;   mental  health;   and  healthy                                                               
MS. BROOKS reiterated that rehabilitation  starts during the pre-                                                               
trial  phase  and  continues throughout  incarceration  and  into                                                               
post-release supervision.  The offender  management plan (OMP) is                                                               
put in place once an individual  is sentenced to 90 days or more;                                                               
it is developed  from the risk assessment, and it  focuses on the                                                               
individual's criminogenic  risk factors.   Those  individuals can                                                               
then be  referred to  rehabilitative programs  in the  DOC system                                                               
that address  the identified risk  factors.  She stated  that the                                                               
OMP  is  updated  throughout  incarceration  due  to  changes  in                                                               
programming.  She said that 90  days prior to release, the OMP is                                                               
again  updated;  it is  a  fluid  document  that moves  with  the                                                               
offender out  into the  field; it is  available to  the community                                                               
case  managers through  the coalitions  and to  the field  POs to                                                               
ensure that  everyone is "on  the same  page" and knows  where to                                                               
focus the rehabilitative efforts.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether DOC tracked  statistics for                                                               
recidivism based  on new crimes  versus probation  violations and                                                               
whether that  data allows DOC  to understand how  probation could                                                               
be adjusted to reduce recidivism.                                                                                               
MS. BROOKS  answered, "Yes we  do."   She explained that  DOC has                                                               
information on  new crime  recidivism as well  as the  portion of                                                               
recidivism that  is attributable  to either  probation violations                                                               
or petitions to revoke probation.                                                                                               
3:31:35 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  WINKELMAN, Acting  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of                                                               
Corrections  (DOC), relayed  that  she oversees  the Probation  &                                                               
Parole and  Pretrial Enforcement  Divisions.  She  responded that                                                               
DOC tracks what  the violations are and how often  they are being                                                               
committed  by the  same offenders  or different  offenders.   She                                                               
referred  to  the   administrative  sanctions  implemented  under                                                               
Senate  Bill  91 [passed  during  the  Twenty-Ninth Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature  (2015-2016) and  signed into  law 7/11/16],  through                                                               
which POs respond to violations  through alternative means - ones                                                               
that are  internal to  DOC and avoid  bringing the  offender back                                                               
into custody or  in front of the court.   She maintained that the                                                               
practice resulted  in a  reduction in  petitions being  filed and                                                               
offenders returning  to jail.   She offered that with  the method                                                               
of tracking  the recidivism  rate and  the significant  shifts in                                                               
the  criminal  justice system,  the  outcome  [data] is  slightly                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  suggested that  DOC is responding  to the                                                               
data on violations  to make adjustments that  would avoid putting                                                               
offenders in jail for minor probations violations.                                                                              
MS. WINKELMAN concurred.                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS   asked   for  the   percentage   of   inmates,                                                               
incarcerated  for  more  than  90  days,  who  participate  in  a                                                               
rehabilitation program through an OMP.                                                                                          
MS.  BROOKS answered  that it  varies significantly  depending on                                                               
the type  of program.   She  said that  for men,  the residential                                                               
substance abuse  treatment (RSAT)  program is  full and  there is                                                               
always  a  wait list;  for  women,  it  is  at about  60  percent                                                               
capacity and there is no wait list.                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS  asked   for  confirmation   that  DOC   tracks                                                               
availability by  program.  He  expressed his interest  in finding                                                               
out where additional [program] capacity would be helpful.                                                                       
MS. BROOKS  replied that  DOC does  track [program]  capacity and                                                               
waitlist information and can provide that to the committee.                                                                     
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS   asked   for  the   percentage   of   inmates,                                                               
incarcerated   for  more   than   90  days,   who  are   actively                                                               
participating in an OMP.                                                                                                        
MS. BROOKS  responded that last  year 3,000 offenders had  an OMP                                                               
either initiated or  updated more than 4,200 times.   That number                                                               
has grown significantly over last  year and the year before last.                                                               
She said  that the  longer the  OMP has been  in place,  the more                                                               
active   participation  becomes.      In   terms  of   individual                                                               
participation  in  the  OMP,  it  is  the  offender's  choice  to                                                               
cooperate, and  some do  not want to  cooperate even  with taking                                                               
the risk assessment.                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS  restated   his  question:     Of   the  21,661                                                               
individuals who went  through DOC's system, how many  were in for                                                               
more than 90 days.                                                                                                              
MS. BROOKS answered that she did  not know but could provide that                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  clarified his  request  for  information:   the                                                               
percentage  of inmates  who were  incarcerated for  more than  90                                                               
days, and  of those,  the number  who participated  in meaningful                                                               
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  referred to  the reentry  simulation and                                                               
mentioned the issue of identification  (ID) for people reentering                                                               
society.   He asked how  DOC helps those  people get IDs  so that                                                               
they can become functioning citizens.                                                                                           
MS. BROOKS responded  that getting an ID would  not be associated                                                               
with the OMP because the plans  are for individuals who have been                                                               
sentenced for 90  days or more.  She stated  that DOC provides to                                                               
any  offender  exiting  the  system   a  one-page  document  that                                                               
verifies that person's  identity; it is from DOC  and is accepted                                                               
by  the   Division  of  Motor   Vehicles  (DMV)   as  appropriate                                                               
documentation to obtain a state ID  from DMV.  She added that DOC                                                               
recognizes  the importance  of an  ID and  is trying  to increase                                                               
awareness that the document is available.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR   KREISS-TOMKINS   asked    whether   there   has   been                                                               
communication between  DOC and  DMV about  having a  means within                                                               
DOC for an inmate to obtain an ID before release.                                                                               
MS. BROOKS answered that such  communication has occurred just in                                                               
the  last several  months.   She  relayed that  the practice  has                                                               
occurred in  other states at  their larger facilities.   She said                                                               
that implementing this practice  in Alaska's rural communities is                                                               
more challenging.   She added that DOC hopes to  address the need                                                               
for REAL ID [Act of 2005] compliant IDs as well.                                                                                
3:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked to know  the caseloads  for personnel                                                               
managing the OMPs.                                                                                                              
MS. BROOKS  responded that  the caseload depends  on the  size of                                                               
the  facility.    She  doesn't have  that  information  but  will                                                               
provide it to the committee.                                                                                                    
3:40:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS referred to slides  8-15, which offer overviews of the                                                               
rehabilitative  services currently  available  within  DOC.   She                                                               
reviewed the services listed on  slide 8, entitled "Substance Use                                                               
Disorder Services":   "Screening" consists  of a quick  review to                                                               
identify a  possible substance use disorder  (SUD).  "Assessment"                                                               
is more  thorough and determines  a recommendation for  the level                                                               
of  treatment for  the inmate.   "Intensive  outpatient substance                                                               
abuse  treatment (IOPSAT)"  refers to  a service  within the  DOC                                                               
facility  that the  inmate  visits to  engage  in the  treatment;                                                               
there  is an  82-slot capacity  for IOPSAT;  and it  is in  three                                                               
facilities -  Hiland Mountain  Correctional Center  (HMCC) [Eagle                                                               
River],  Goose Creek  Correctional Center  (GCCC) [Wasilla],  and                                                               
Anvil Mountain  Correctional Center (AMCC)  [Nome] - and  all the                                                               
Community  Residential  Centers  (CRCs)  except for  the  one  in                                                               
Bethel.  She suggested that the  halfway house in Bethel may have                                                               
an alternate means of delivering the service.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked where  DOC would  like more  SUD treatment                                                               
MS. BROOKS relayed  that currently the RSAT program  has a 64-bed                                                               
capacity;  it is  available at  HMCC  for women  and at  Wildwood                                                               
Correctional Center  (WCC) [Kenai] for  men.  The RSAT  in Seward                                                               
[Spring Creek  Correctional Center  (SCCC)] was  closed due  to a                                                               
lack  of substance  abuse treatment  providers.   The  department                                                               
struggles with  finding providers  in the  community for  all the                                                               
substance abuse treatment  programs.  She mentioned  that DOC has                                                               
issued  a request  for proposal  (RFP) to  re-establish the  RSAT                                                               
program at SCCC.  She stated  that there is a waitlist for IOPSAT                                                               
at  GCCC partially  due to  provider turnover  at that  facility.                                                               
She  maintained  that  all  the facilities  would  like  to  have                                                               
programs available for  each level of treatment;  there have been                                                               
programs at some facilities that were not at capacity.                                                                          
MS. BROOKS  continued with the chart  on slide 8 to  explain that                                                               
"Psychological Education  ("PsychEd")" is a  six-week educational                                                               
program  that speaks  to the  biological  effects of  [substance]                                                               
use, the  effects of long-term  use, and relapse; it  is provided                                                               
through  contract  or  by  DOC mental  health  clinicians.    She                                                               
mentioned that DOC is evaluating  its programs through its Second                                                               
Chance [Act] grant to determine gaps in programming.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked whether these programs  would be available                                                               
at Palmer Correctional Facility (PCC), if reopened.                                                                             
MS. BROOKS  answered that  PCC would  be an  appropriate facility                                                               
for these programs, as the  inmates would be sentenced offenders.                                                               
She added that one of the  challenges for DOC is the large number                                                               
of  pretrial  offenders  who "cycle  through"  the  facility  too                                                               
quickly  to participate  in a  six-month  RSAT program.   In  the                                                               
sentenced facilities, long-term treatment programs make sense.                                                                  
3:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked for information  on the medication assisted                                                               
treatment (MAT)  programs:  the medications  used; the facilities                                                               
that  utilize them;  and  the transition  back  to the  community                                                               
ensuring continuity with the treatment.                                                                                         
MS. BROOKS answered  that the MAT for DOC  started with Vivitrol.                                                               
Vivitrol is an extended release  injectable naltrexone; it blocks                                                               
the opioid  receptors in the brain;  and it has been  shown to be                                                               
an effective treatment.   She said that Vivitrol  is available at                                                               
all  DOC  facilities.    The   other  two  medications  used  are                                                               
buprenorphine and  methadone.  About a  year and a half  ago, DOC                                                               
began offering "methadone bridging"  for people coming into DOC's                                                               
system who were engaged in  methadone treatment in the community.                                                               
Without methadone  these individuals would  experience withdrawal                                                               
symptoms in the  facilities.  Currently DOC  offers "bridging" to                                                               
short-term  offenders;  the   outpatient  providers  provide  the                                                               
methadone  for DOC  to administer  to the  offenders.   She added                                                               
that increasingly,  offenders are coming into  the system engaged                                                               
in buprenorphine treatment; therefore,  DOC is starting to bridge                                                               
that medication for inmates as well.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  whether  DOC  coordinates with  community                                                               
organizations to continue treatment for the reentrant.                                                                          
MS.  BROOKS  relayed  that  DOC  employs  the  "screening,  brief                                                               
intervention, and referral to treatment  (SBIRT)" model.  Inmates                                                               
are given  an injection  before being  released; however,  a very                                                               
important element  of MAT is the  cognitive behavioral component;                                                               
therefore, the substance abuse  counselors provide offenders with                                                               
a list of places at which therapy treatment is available.                                                                       
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked how long the Vivitrol injections last.                                                                    
MS. BROOKS responded, about 28 days.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked what DOC's coordination  is with community                                                               
providers for those released offenders [to continue treatment].                                                                 
MS. BROOKS replied that DOC makes  every effort to try to connect                                                               
offenders to providers  upon release so they  can start cognitive                                                               
therapy as soon as they are released.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked what organizations  in the  community give                                                               
Vivitrol injections.                                                                                                            
MS. BROOKS answered  that it depends on the  community; there are                                                               
clinics  and  health  practitioners   in  private  practice  that                                                               
provide  that service.   She  offered  that services  need to  be                                                               
expanded  in  more  rural  communities;  currently  many  of  the                                                               
outpatient treatment clinics are only available in urban areas.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether  there are any  urban areas                                                               
with gaps in Vivitrol and other post-incarceration treatments.                                                                  
MS.  BROOKS  answered,  "There  are."   She  said  that  the  DOC                                                               
population comes  from every  community in  the state,  but there                                                               
are relatively few  communities with complete MAT  programs.  She                                                               
offered that one  of goals of DHSS is to  expand MAT availability                                                               
in rural communities and other communities.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  asked  whether DOC  utilizes  Alcoholics                                                               
Anonymous  (AA) and  Narcotics Anonymous  (NA) within  facilities                                                               
and  assists  inmates to  transition  to  those programs  in  the                                                               
community upon release.                                                                                                         
MS.  BROOKS replied  that DOC  has AA  and NA  programs in  every                                                               
facility;  they are  available to  all inmates;  and inmates  are                                                               
encouraged to participate.                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked who pays for  the programs and what can the                                                               
state do to expand the programs.                                                                                                
MR.  BROOKS answered  that she  does not  know but  would request                                                               
that information from DHSS.                                                                                                     
3:51:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY  asked   why  substance   abuse  treatment                                                               
programs  are   not  at   capacity  and   if  the   programs  are                                                               
discontinued if  not full.   She also asked about  incentives for                                                               
inmates to  participation in treatment programs,  such as reduced                                                               
MS. BROOKS, in  response to the first question,  answered that it                                                               
depends  on  the  location.     She  offered  that  it  has  been                                                               
incredibly challenging  to incentivize inmates to  participate in                                                               
programs  that  the  department   believes  are  beneficial,  but                                                               
inmates do  not.  She  said that there  was an IOPSAT  program at                                                               
Lemon Creek  Correctional Center  (LCCC) [Juneau]; the  number of                                                               
participants was very low; the  contract provider could not staff                                                               
the program;  and DOC  could not  continue to  pay for  a program                                                               
that only  served two or three  people.  She emphasized  that the                                                               
reentry process  is critical for  ensuring that the  offender has                                                               
that  option for  treatment in  the  community if  he/she is  not                                                               
engaging in the treatment at the facility.                                                                                      
MS. BROOKS  addressed the question  of incentives by  saying that                                                               
she  was not  aware  of  a process  whereby  inmates can  receive                                                               
reduced  sentences  if  they  participate   in  treatment.    She                                                               
acknowledged that offering that option would help participation.                                                                
MS.   BROOKS  continued   with   slide  8   to  discuss   "Narcan                                                               
distribution."   Through  a federal  grant,  DOC receives  Narcan                                                               
kits, which  protect against  overdosing.   She relayed  that DOC                                                               
has started  to make Narcan  kits available to  offenders exiting                                                               
the facilities.   Narcan is  administered through nasal  spray to                                                               
someone showing  signs of  overdosing.   The department  does not                                                               
track  the  kits  and  cannot  gauge  the  impact,  but  national                                                               
statistics  demonstrate a  positive  effect  on mortality  rates.                                                               
She  mentioned that  "video-based substance  abuse education"  is                                                               
offered  to the  segregation  population; "CRC  direct access  to                                                               
treatment" is  provided through contracts  with providers  in the                                                               
community,  and  there  are  dedicated  slots  in  the  treatment                                                               
programs for the  inmates released to halfway houses.   She added                                                               
that  DOC   is  working  on   some  new  projects   for  "reentry                                                               
coordination" so that individuals who  are exiting the DOC system                                                               
have more intensive case management  to ensure they are connected                                                               
with treatment upon  release; an RFP has been issued  to locate a                                                               
provider for that service.                                                                                                      
MS.  BROOKS   mentioned  the  increasing  utilization   of  "peer                                                               
supports"; there is a growing  body of evidence showing that peer                                                               
supports have a positive effect  on offender learning and changes                                                               
in  behavior; it  involves using  a  mentor with  a similar  life                                                               
experience to work with the offender.                                                                                           
3:56:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked to what  extent DOC is operating  the peer                                                               
support  programs  versus programs  being  supported  by DHSS  or                                                               
nonprofit  organizations.    He  expressed his  belief  that  the                                                               
administration of peer support across the state is uneven.                                                                      
MS. BROOKS stated that DOC has  peer mentors in the mental health                                                               
units;  they  have taken  mental  health  first aid  training  to                                                               
recognize the symptoms of mental  illness; they combat the stigma                                                               
associated with seeking mental health  treatment.  She added that                                                               
the substance abuse units also  have peer support mentors.  There                                                               
are community  providers who, in  collaboration with  the reentry                                                               
coalitions, bring peer supports into  the DOC system. She offered                                                               
that DHSS is developing a  peer support certification - a 40-hour                                                               
training that teaches how to best safely support the offenders.                                                                 
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked  whether all the facilities  have some form                                                               
of peer support.                                                                                                                
MS. BROOKS said not all do, but it is growing.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked,  "What more do we need  to be doing?"                                                               
She  acknowledged  the  workforce  issue  -  the  need  for  more                                                               
substance  abuse  treatment providers  -  and  asked whether  DOC                                                               
staff training  is adequate to  ensure that released  inmates are                                                               
connected to the supports they need.                                                                                            
MS. BROOKS  responded that DHSS  is aware  of the problem  and is                                                               
drafting a  workforce development  plan.   A large  percentage of                                                               
the  DOC population  are  impacted when  they  cannot access  the                                                               
services because  of workforce shortages.   She relayed  that the                                                               
institutional  POs  receive  training  on reentry  issues.    She                                                               
maintained  that offenders  get reentry  information from  a wide                                                               
variety  of  sources  - mental  health  clinicians,  correctional                                                               
officers (COs), and reentry classes.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE STORY suggested  that being a parole  officer is a                                                               
demanding profession and expressed  the importance of support and                                                               
MR. BROOKS  responded that  a parole  officer attends  a training                                                               
academy, and  there are  required training  hours annually.   She                                                               
offered to provide more information.                                                                                            
4:01:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS turned to slide  9, entitled "Institutional behavioral                                                               
Health  Care,"  and relayed  that  overall  65 percent  of  DOC's                                                               
population  has a  diagnosable mental  health disorder;  about 22                                                               
percent of  those have a  serious and persistent  mental illness,                                                               
like schizophrenia or  bipolar disorder.  She  declared, "We have                                                               
a very,  very sick population."   She said that there  are mental                                                               
health clinicians  in each DOC  facility - either by  contract or                                                               
on  staff.   Psychiatrists  and  psychiatric nurse  practitioners                                                               
provide  medication  management  and  other  types  of  treatment                                                               
planning   either   onsite   or   through   telehealth   systems.                                                               
Psychiatric nurses  are also  part of  the DOC  behavioral health                                                               
team.  There are several  dedicated modules just for the mentally                                                               
ill  population:     two  acute   care  24-hour   hospital  level                                                               
psychiatric treatment units - one for  men and one for women; and                                                               
five sub-acute units throughout the  DOC system.  She stated that                                                               
all together, DOC has over  300 dedicated treatment beds just for                                                               
the mentally ill population in specialized housing.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked whether the beds are fully occupied.                                                                      
MS. BROOKS answered  that DOC's acute care  psychiatric units are                                                               
always full  and they  have wait  lists.   Most of  the sub-acute                                                               
units are also  full; the one at  GCCC is a 128-bed  unit and not                                                               
full; there is  a unit at SCCC  and two at HMCC for  women.  Most                                                               
are at capacity.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked whether reopening  PCC would result  in an                                                               
increase in dedicated beds.                                                                                                     
MS.  BROOKS answered  that  the best  utilization  of those  beds                                                               
would have to be determined.                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  whether  there  is a  subset  of COs  who                                                               
supervise  inmates  in  the dedicated  [mental  health]  beds  or                                                               
whether it is a general duty of all COs.                                                                                        
MS. BROOKS replied that it is a  little of both:  with 65 percent                                                               
of the  population having a  diagnosable mental illness,  all COs                                                               
will be working with people with  mental illness.  She said there                                                               
are officers who  work on the acute care mental  health units and                                                               
sub-acute  units.     Over  the  past  several   years,  DOC  has                                                               
implemented several trainings  to help COs be  better prepared to                                                               
deal with the mentally ill  population - mental health first aid,                                                               
trauma informed care, and crisis intervention team training.                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  whether  the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust                                                               
Authority (AMHTA) supports the trainings.                                                                                       
MS. BROOKS  replied that  AMHTA does provide  funding to  DOC for                                                               
mental health  specific training  each year; although  it doesn't                                                               
cover all the costs, such as for overtime.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR FIELDS suggested looking to  the AMHTA budget to provide                                                               
needed support for DOC staff.                                                                                                   
4:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BROOKS   continued  with   slide  10,   entitled  "Education                                                               
Services," and advised the committee  that lack of education is a                                                               
major criminogenic  factor contributing to recidivism.   She said                                                               
that  all  DOC  institutions  offer  education  supports  to  the                                                               
offender population  - placement testing, GED  testing, tutoring,                                                               
New  Path [alternative]  High School,  and secondary  education -                                                               
both  onsite and  through  correspondence.   She  added that  DOC                                                               
education  coordinators also  assist offenders  in correspondence                                                               
college courses.   She said that the  education coordinators play                                                               
a  critical  role  in  other   rehabilitative  efforts,  such  as                                                               
parenting  classes,  cognitive  skills classes,  computer  skills                                                               
classes,  and  job  training.    They work  in  tandem  with  the                                                               
institutional POs.                                                                                                              
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  mentioned the  GED  testing  program now  being                                                               
completely   online  and   asked  whether   that  presented   any                                                               
technology issues for DOC.                                                                                                      
MS.  BROOKS  replied  that  there  were  technology  issues;  DOC                                                               
developed some  temporary workarounds; DOC is  considering making                                                               
[electronic]   tablets  available   to  offenders,   which  would                                                               
streamline the GED process as well as other processes.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  recollected that  due to the  technology issues,                                                               
the  GED  completion  rates decreased  dramatically.    He  asked                                                               
whether  the  completion  rates have  recovered  among  sentenced                                                               
MS. BROOKS responded  that there has been some  recovery, but the                                                               
rate is not  as high as DOC  would like it to be.   She committed                                                               
to providing historical data on the rates.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  whether  there  is anything  that                                                               
prevents procuring tablets for inmates.                                                                                         
MS. WINKELMAN responded, "It was  something that we wanted to put                                                               
forward  this  year and  we  are  hoping  that  we can  get  into                                                               
discussions about that possibility."                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  asked  whether  there  is  currently  a                                                               
blanket embargo  on digital devices  among the  inmate population                                                               
that prevents  inmates form using  tablets or  other [electronic]                                                               
devices to complete the GED.                                                                                                    
MS.  WINKELMAN answered  that she  is not  aware of  that; it  is                                                               
something that DOC is interested in pursuing.                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  expressed his desire to  facilitate that                                                               
4:11:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS mentioned  consistency  of program  availability                                                               
across institutions  - gaps  in terms  of equipment,  capacity of                                                               
the  education  coordinators,  and  demand for  programs  at  the                                                               
institutions.   He  asked  that she  discuss  the differences  by                                                               
institution  and   how  DOC  ensures  educational   services  are                                                               
available at each institution.                                                                                                  
MS.  BROOKS   responded  that  the  delivery   of  programs  vary                                                               
depending  on  the  size  of the  facility;  there  are  multiple                                                               
education coordinators  in some locations.   She stated  that the                                                               
GED function  is one  of the primary  functions of  the education                                                               
coordinators;  therefore, DOC  is  making a  concerted effort  to                                                               
ensure that  as a priority.   She said  that DOC has  had several                                                               
hurdles  slowing progress  in that  area; however,  the education                                                               
coordinators   recognize  [lack   of  education]   being  a   key                                                               
criminogenic   factor   and    the   importance   of   increasing                                                               
participation.   She  maintained that  DOC has  the resources  to                                                               
increase the numbers.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked whether  DOC considers  caseloads and                                                               
whether there  are recommendations  for the  number of  inmates a                                                               
coordinator should serve.                                                                                                       
MS. BROOKS answered  that her understanding is that  there are no                                                               
waitlists for  people wanting  to take  the GED  test; therefore,                                                               
that function  is appropriately resourced.   She offered  that in                                                               
contrast, vocational  programs vary  dramatically across  the DOC                                                               
system; they  depend on inmate  interest and the  availability of                                                               
specialized instructors.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE STORY referred  to the other services  on slide 10                                                               
-  "English  as  a  second language  (ESL)"  and  "job  readiness                                                               
MS. BROOKS  mentioned that in  the area of job  readiness skills,                                                               
DOC  works with  DOLWD;  DOLWD provides  DOC  with job  readiness                                                               
specialists; DOLWD job centers provide  "in reach" to many of the                                                               
facilities around the state; every  community with a correctional                                                               
facility  also  has  an  [Alaska  job  center].    The  education                                                               
coordinators  coordinate  with community  agencies,  contractors,                                                               
and volunteer  organizations for  many of the  education services                                                               
listed on slide 10.                                                                                                             
4:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS   mentioned  that  Ms.  Brooks   has  not                                                               
referred to  the Fairbanks Correctional  Center (FCC).   He asked                                                               
whether that was because many of  the services are missing at FCC                                                               
or whether inmates move through the facility quickly.                                                                           
MS. BROOKS  answered that  many services  are available  at AMCC,                                                               
FCC, Ketchikan Correctional Center  (KCC), LCCC, WCC, SCCC, HMCC,                                                               
and  Anchorage Correctional  Complex (ACC),  but services  vary -                                                               
particularly in  facilities that  are pre-trial  facilities, like                                                               
FCC and LCCC.   It is more difficult to  install more sustainable                                                               
programs like  a mental  health unit, but  that doesn't  mean the                                                               
facilities don't  offer mental health  services.  A  program that                                                               
requires  a unit  -  such as  RSAT  - will  generally  be in  the                                                               
sentenced facilities.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  mentioned   businesses  that  employ  returning                                                               
offenders;  many  of them  offer  high  skilled jobs  that  don't                                                               
require a college  degree.  He asked whether DOC  could ask those                                                               
employers  what  kind  of  training   programs  the  state  could                                                               
support.   He  maintained that  there are  significant state  and                                                               
federal  resources   that  could   support  those   programs  and                                                               
suggested the  department be proactive  in reaching out  to those                                                               
employers to ensure they have the  resources they need.  He added                                                               
that when  a returning citizen  completes an  apprenticeship with                                                               
an employer,  he/she ends  up with a  credential.   He maintained                                                               
that there are  so few jobs that are living  wage jobs that offer                                                               
a  pathway  for returning  citizens;  the  state should  maximize                                                               
those opportunities.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE STORY offered  that the fields of  health care and                                                               
computer programming  are both growing and  suggested training in                                                               
those areas.                                                                                                                    
MS.  BROOKS, in  response to  Representative Fields,  stated that                                                               
DOC  does  collaborate  with  DOLWD  to  connect  individuals  to                                                               
employers in  the community.  Employment  specialists coming into                                                               
the  facilities  have been  incredibly  successful;  one at  HMCC                                                               
connected 130-plus  inmates to jobs  in the community.   She said                                                               
that  often  DOC's  apprenticeships  and  training  programs  are                                                               
connected to  community employers  who are  willing to  accept an                                                               
inmate  returning to  the community.   She  said that  the effort                                                               
could be expanded; it is on DOC's "radar."                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  reiterated  that  since  DOC  and  the  reentry                                                               
coalitions  most  likely are  aware  of  the employers  who  hire                                                               
returning inmates,  they could  ask the  employers how  the state                                                               
could support  the training  programs.   He suggested  that DOLWD                                                               
may not be  maximizing investment in those  training programs and                                                               
the state should support those employers.                                                                                       
MS.  BROOKS, in  response  to Representative  Story, agreed  that                                                               
there are many  health care shortages.  She offered  that DOC has                                                               
explored  several  programs.   She  acknowledged  that there  are                                                               
barrier crimes  that prevent many  of the offenders  from working                                                               
in the  health care field.   She said  that DOC has  identified a                                                               
couple of areas for a pilot  project.  She offered that there are                                                               
several  computer training  programs  available  to inmates,  and                                                               
such training could be expanded.                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS stated that the  presentation by Ms. Brooks would                                                               
be  continued  during  a  later  hearing and  at  this  time  the                                                               
committee would hear other testifiers.                                                                                          
4:21:26 PM                                                                                                                    
TERI TIBBETT,  Co-Chair, Juneau  Reentry Coalition,  relayed that                                                               
she is  also the  Chair of the  Community Education  and Outreach                                                               
Workgroup.   She  stated that  Juneau has  a very  active reentry                                                               
coalition;  it  includes  partners from  nonprofit  agencies  and                                                               
state  agencies;  it  was involved  with  conducting  the  recent                                                               
reentry simulation  offered to legislators  [1/30/20].   She said                                                               
that JAMHI Health  & Wellness, Inc. (JAMHI) serves  as the fiscal                                                               
agent  for the  coalition to  receive  funding from  AMHTA for  a                                                               
community coordinator  to serve  as administrator.   Funding also                                                               
comes from DHSS for a  case manager, who works with institutional                                                               
POs to identify inmates who  are interested and want to volunteer                                                               
for case management.   The reentry case manager  helps inmates to                                                               
find housing,  get access to  services in the community,  sign up                                                               
for health  care, and engage  in all the other  activities needed                                                               
for  reentering   society.    She  maintained   that  the  effort                                                               
represents  a collaboration  between  DOC, AMHTA,  DHSS, and  the                                                               
MS. TIBBETT  explained that there  are two  co-chairs:  one  is a                                                               
community member, which  is the seat she holds, and  the other is                                                               
a  representative from  LCCC.   Reentry coalitions  operate under                                                               
the guidelines  of the Alaska  Community Reentry Plan;  there are                                                               
coalitions throughout Alaska.                                                                                                   
MS.  TIBBETT  continued  by  mentioning  other  partners  of  the                                                               
coalition:   Gastineau Human Services  (GHS), a halfway  house in                                                               
Juneau;  National Alliance  on Mental  Illness  (NAMI) Juneau,  a                                                               
nonprofit mental health agency working  with families with mental                                                               
illness;  Central  Council Tlingit  and  Haida  Indian Tribes  of                                                               
Alaska;  Southeast  Regional   Resource  Center  (SERRC);  Juneau                                                               
Opioid  Work  Group;  Juneau  Job Center;  City  and  Borough  of                                                               
Juneau; Rotary  Club of Juneau;  Juneau Chamber of  Commerce; and                                                               
the  Juneau  Community  Foundation.    She  maintained  that  the                                                               
coalition invites  the community to its  community meetings every                                                               
other month  to provide education  on various topics  and discuss                                                               
the efforts of the coalition.   She mentioned a statewide reentry                                                               
and justice  workgroup -  a partnership  of reentry  coalitions -                                                               
that meets  monthly to share  activities and goals and  listen to                                                               
testimony from reentrants.                                                                                                      
4:26:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  TIBBETT stated  that the  coalition  recently supported  the                                                               
therapeutic courts'  request for positions that  would make wrap-                                                               
around  support  available  to  its  clients;  it  supported  the                                                               
reentry  unit proposal  in  the DOC  budget,  which would  expand                                                               
reentry  efforts within  DOC;  and it  supported  safe and  sober                                                               
housing, which is the number one barrier for reentrants.                                                                        
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  about the  expression, "safe  and                                                               
sober housing."                                                                                                                 
MS. TIBBETT  explained that  it refers  to a  safe place  to live                                                               
with an emphasis on being sober.                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked what safe and  sober housing means                                                               
programmatically or from a policy standpoint.                                                                                   
MS.  TIBBETT  explained  that  GHS  has  a  treatment  wing  that                                                               
represents a  safe and sober housing  program; it is a  place for                                                               
the reentrants to  live while they work and go  about their lives                                                               
but still  get treatment in the  form of programs or  groups.  It                                                               
is a safe  place to live where the residents  don't need to worry                                                               
about people using substances, which might present a temptation.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS referred  to the  reentry simulation  and                                                               
asked   what   bureaucratic   hurdles   reentrants   found   most                                                               
challenging.  He specifically mentioned obtaining IDs.                                                                          
MS. TIBBETT  expressed that she  is not qualified to  answer that                                                               
question.   She offered that  finding housing, getting  access to                                                               
treatment,  and qualifying  for  Medicaid are  the challenges  of                                                               
which she is aware.                                                                                                             
MS.  TIBBETT  concluded by  saying  that  the coalition  supports                                                               
better  access to  substance abuse  and mental  health treatment.                                                               
She maintained that  they are constant issues  because the demand                                                               
is greater than the supply.   She offered that the primary reason                                                               
for the lack of substance use  and mental health treatment is the                                                               
workforce issue.   Alaska needs  more trained  individuals; there                                                               
are multiple efforts  around the state by  different agencies and                                                               
by the  University of Alaska;  it is a difficult  profession with                                                               
burnout  and often  inadequate  pay.   She said  that  it is  not                                                               
always the fault of the agencies  when they are unable to provide                                                               
services  but the  difficulty with  finding  qualified people  to                                                               
take the jobs.                                                                                                                  
4:32:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JANET MCCABE,  Chair, Board of Directors,  Partners for Progress,                                                               
relayed that the data demonstrates  the significant role that the                                                               
Partners Reentry Center  has played in reducing  recidivism.  She                                                               
said  that it  serves 60  people per  day and  has served  almost                                                               
10,000 people  since inception.   She offered that 45  percent of                                                               
the state's prisoners  reenter in Anchorage, and  the center sees                                                               
most  of the  difficult-to-serve people.   She  stated that  this                                                               
week  her   agency  has  been   working  with  DOC  on   a  small                                                               
supplemental federal grant  - the Second Chance grant  - in which                                                               
the emphasis is on combining  behind-the-walls services with case                                                               
management  and treatment  upon release,  with the  goal being  a                                                               
smooth transition.   She maintained that people  who are released                                                               
from  prison  need a  "complex  and  humanly balanced"  range  of                                                               
4:34:56 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSHUA SOPKO, Director, Partners  Reentry Center, relayed that he                                                               
has been working  for Partners for Progress since 2014;  he was a                                                               
case  manager and  then  the  deputy director;  he  has been  the                                                               
director since  July 2019.   He reiterated that  Partners Reentry                                                               
Center is  a high-volume  reentry center  in Anchorage  located a                                                               
few blocks from  the Anchorage jail.  He said  that the center is                                                               
located  near  the  Anchorage  Probation  Field  Office  and  the                                                               
agencies offering  many of the critical  services that reentrants                                                               
use, including  the Public Assistance Office  [Division of Public                                                               
Assistance, DHSS] and the Social Security Administration office.                                                                
MR. SOPKO continued  by saying reentry center staff  see about 60                                                               
people per  day, house  120-130 people per  month, and  work with                                                               
300 people per month in  job searches, case management, and other                                                               
services.   He stated  that the center  serves walk-ins  the same                                                               
day and can house them the same  day.  Center staff work with DOC                                                               
institutional POs to get referrals  of those being released.  The                                                               
center  offers   per-arranged  housing   for  those   wishing  to                                                               
participate - who  enter into an agreement to  not recidivate and                                                               
to address the underlying causes  resulting in incarceration.  In                                                               
this way  offenders have  an expectation of  what is  required of                                                               
them in exchange for the assistance  provided by the center.   In                                                               
the  first  two  weeks  the center  assists  the  reentrant  with                                                               
establishing  a  schedule, building  a  resume,  engaging in  job                                                               
readiness activities, obtaining  an ID, checking in  with the PO,                                                               
and following up on referrals  for substance abuse assessment for                                                               
treatment or sober support groups.   He mentioned that the center                                                               
offers  Moral  Reconation  Therapy  (MRT) which  is  a  cognitive                                                               
behavioral approach  to group therapy that  helps offenders break                                                               
down criminal  thinking errors  and develop  pro-social thinking.                                                               
He  related that  the center  also  assists with  transportation,                                                               
clothes, and hygiene.   He maintained that by  handling the small                                                               
barriers,  the  center  frees  the  individual  up  to  focus  on                                                               
addressing criminogenic  needs and  the challenges of  becoming a                                                               
stable,  better   person  who   desists  from   further  criminal                                                               
behavior.  He  added that the center  stresses finding mentorship                                                               
and finding  comradery and  fellowship in  groups outside  of the                                                               
person's established  social circles; peer associations  are very                                                               
important.    One way  that  the  center  encourages this  is  by                                                               
offering food  with group meetings.   He relayed that  offering a                                                               
chicken dinner for  those completing the GED test proved  to be a                                                               
very successful  incentive in  getting people  to take  the test.                                                               
He  expressed   the  value  of  small   incentives,  motivational                                                               
interviewing,  working  with  the  offender as  a  team  offering                                                               
support and motivation.                                                                                                         
MR.  SOPKO continued  by saying  that in  the five  years he  has                                                               
worked in the  reentry field, he has seen a  [positive] change in                                                               
DOC; among  the field  POs, the thinking  has evolved  to greater                                                               
focus on  rehabilitation, addressing  needs, giving  support, and                                                               
pointing the  people on probation  and supervision  toward better                                                               
4:42:11 PM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA   MONGAR,    Coordinator,   MatSu    Reentry   Coalition,                                                               
paraphrased  from  her  written testimony  [original  punctuation                                                               
provided], which read:                                                                                                          
     The Mat-Su Reentry Coalition consists of a                                                                                 
     collaboration of individuals, community stakeholders,                                                                      
     public and none-profit [sic] agencies, faith based and                                                                     
     business partners who are united and committed to                                                                          
     reducing recidivism among returning citizens to the                                                                        
     Mat-Su community.                                                                                                          
     Our Reentry Coalition is led by a Steering Team that                                                                       
     currently consists of 10 members and includes                                                                              
     substance abuse treatment providers, behavioral health                                                                     
     providers, the Mat-Su job center manager, the Mat-Su                                                                       
     Housing & Homelessness Coordinator, an Institutional                                                                       
     Probation Officer, a Field Probation Office, a Veteran                                                                     
     Administration representative, a Reentrant, who is                                                                         
     also working as a Peer mentor, and a community member.                                                                     
     The Steering Team meets monthly to go over strategies                                                                      
     and progress towards the Coalitions Goals to help                                                                          
     increase reentrants well-being within the community.                                                                       
     The Reentry Coalition also holds Quarterly Community                                                                       
     Reentry Meetings to help educate community members on                                                                      
     the barriers and difficulties reentrance [sic] face                                                                        
     and how reentry services help to promote public safety                                                                     
     and reduce recidivism.                                                                                                     
     Some of the Reentry Activities we have been doing in                                                                       
     the Mat-Su include a Reentry Simulation, which is an                                                                       
     activity that simulates some of the challenges that                                                                        
     Reentrants go through once they are released from                                                                          
     prison. After attending several Reentry Simulations in                                                                     
     Anchorage, I was able to gather the material and tweak                                                                     
     it to fit our community. I want to thank Senator                                                                           
     Showers for participating the Reentry Simulation we                                                                        
     held in the Mat-Su last November, all of the people                                                                        
     that participated in the simulation had positive                                                                           
     comments to say about reentry simulation and how they                                                                      
     didn't realize some of the difficulties reentrants                                                                         
     faced when they were released from prison.                                                                                 
     Our Reentry Coalition also just held a Reentry Summit                                                                      
     in January, we brought in Dr. Latessa, who is the                                                                          
     Director and Professor of the School of Criminal                                                                           
     Justice at the University of Cincinnati and a                                                                              
     nationally sought-after expert in the criminal Justice                                                                     
     Field to do the community training. The Reentry Summit                                                                     
     was a training that was centered on improving and                                                                          
     supporting skills shown to be effective at changing                                                                        
     criminal behavior, developing program action planning,                                                                     
     and reducing recidivism. The attendees of the Reentry                                                                      
     Summit were a mixture of DOC personnel, including                                                                          
     Education Coordinators and both Institutional and                                                                          
     Field Probation Officers, and community service                                                                            
     We also have a Reentry Case Manager that conducts in-                                                                      
     reaches into the different Correctional Institutions                                                                       
     to work with the reentrants before they are released.                                                                      
     The Reentry Case Manager offers intensive Case                                                                             
     Management Services that include parole and probation                                                                      
     supports, housing assistance, employment assistance,                                                                       
     resource navigation and comprehensive goal and                                                                             
     transition planning.                                                                                                       
     One of the success stories I wanted to share is about                                                                      
     a reentrant our reentry case manager assisted who was                                                                      
     a senior citizen that was being released after a long-                                                                     
     term incarceration. This individual had a substance                                                                        
     abuse issues and severe mental health problems. He was                                                                     
     going to be releasing without any services set-up.                                                                         
     Before his release our case manager helped him                                                                             
     identify services and supports so he wouldn't release                                                                      
     and have to go to a shelter in Anchorage away from his                                                                     
     community. The Case manager helped him get his Social                                                                      
     Security Disability Benefits going and get into                                                                            
     supportive housing and long-term mental health care.                                                                       
     After the reentrant was stable he was able to                                                                              
     reconnect with his family out-of-state and we are now                                                                      
     12 months out from when he graduated the Mat-Su                                                                            
     Reentry Management Program and he has not recidivated                                                                      
     and is doing well. That is my testimony, thank you.                                                                        
4:46:30 PM                                                                                                                    
BOBBY DORTON, Fairbanks Native Association,  testified that he is                                                               
from Northway  and grew  up in the  Alaska Native  traditions and                                                               
culture.  He related his experience  using and selling drugs.  He                                                               
relayed  that  he went  to  prison  in  2013,  and in  prison  he                                                               
realized he did not want to  be there or continue in the criminal                                                               
life.   He said  that at  FCC and PCC  he participated  in prison                                                               
programs including RSAT; he was  able to work through issues that                                                               
he had even before using drugs;  he became an RSAT mentor and was                                                               
in the  program almost two years.   He said that  he was released                                                               
from  prison in  July 2018  and placed  on electronic  monitoring                                                               
(EM); however, he suffered panic  attacks.  He described a moment                                                               
of decision for him when he was frustrated with finding help.                                                                   
Marsha  Oss from  the Fairbanks  Reentry Center  had visited  the                                                               
prison many  times while he  was there and  had urged him  to see                                                               
her when he was  released.  He made the decision to  see her.  He                                                               
said, "That was probably the best move I made."                                                                                 
4:50:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DORTON relayed that Ms.  Oss talked him through his anxieties                                                               
and enrolled him  in several reentry programs;  she respected his                                                               
desire to be  a substance abuse counselor and  helped him achieve                                                               
that goal.   He cited the  many programs and people  who assisted                                                               
him  along the  way.    Today he  teaches  groups, volunteers  at                                                               
nonprofit  organizations, and  mentors  recovering  addicts.   He                                                               
makes  good money.    He  has replaced  bad  habits with  healthy                                                               
habits.   He has a  very good  relationship with his  family now.                                                               
He  concluded, "This  is what  recovery has  brought me;  this is                                                               
what reentry has brought me."                                                                                                   
4:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  noted  the  questions  that  arose  during  the                                                               
     Who are  you missing now  in terms of  folks reentering                                                                    
     the  community  who  don't  come  through  the  reentry                                                                    
     centers and  why?  How  can we reach people  who aren't                                                                    
     being reached now?                                                                                                         
     Do  you  see  gaps   or  breaks  in  Medicaid  assisted                                                                    
     treatment as people leave incarceration?                                                                                   
     Has  DHSS  looked  at   the  [Section]  1115  [Medicaid                                                                    
     demonstration]  waiver  and/or  state  plan  amendments                                                                    
     from  the  perspective  of  "How  can  the  state  best                                                                    
     support  reentry  and  leverage Medicaid  to  the  full                                                                    
     extent possible to support reentry?"                                                                                       
     Partners  [Reentry   Center]  can  find   housing  [for                                                                    
     reentrants] on the same day.   How do they do that?  Is                                                                    
     that something other reentry coalitions can do?                                                                            
4:57:27 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 4:57                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DOC HSTA Presentation - Rehab and Reentry Report 02.13.2020.pdf HSTA 2/13/2020 3:00:00 PM
DOC Rehab Reentry Presentaiton
DOC Rehabilitation Report 01-30-2020.pdf HSTA 2/13/2020 3:00:00 PM
DOC Rehabilitation Report
Rehabilitaition Reentry comments, Anglea Hall.pdf HSTA 2/13/2020 3:00:00 PM
Rehabilitiation reentry