Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/05/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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08:41:05 AM Start
08:41:05 AM Department of Law Presentation: Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission
10:21:27 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Dept. of Law Presentation: Alaska Rural TELECONFERENCED
Justice & Law Enforcement Commission
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 5, 2006                                                                                          
                           8:41 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Department of Law Presentation: Alaska Rural Justice and Law                                                                    
Enforcement Commission                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
None to report                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
David Marquez, Attorney General                                                                                                 
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced the PowerPoint presentation and                                                               
answered questions                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Deborah Smith, Acting US Attorney                                                                                               
District of Alaska                                                                                                              
          th                                                                                                                    
222 West 7 Ave                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska  99513                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Delivered the PowerPoint presentation                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
William Tandeske, Commissioner                                                                                                  
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
PO Box 111200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-1200                                                                                                          
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Answered   questions   regarding   the                                                             
presentation                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Wilson Justin, Commissioner                                                                                                     
Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke on behalf of the Commission                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:41:05 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French,  Charlie Huggins, Gretchen Guess,  and Chair Ralph                                                               
Seekins.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^Department  of Law  Presentation: Alaska  Rural Justice  and Law                                                             
Enforcement Commission                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Department  of Law  Presentation:  Alaska Rural  Justice and  Law                                                           
Enforcement Commission                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:41:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS recognized Attorney General David Marquez                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  MARQUEZ,   Attorney  General  for  the   State  of  Alaska                                                               
introduced himself  and advised the committee  that Deborah Smith                                                               
would deliver the overview.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:41:45 AM                                                                                                                    
DEBORAH SMITH,  Acting US  Attorney for  the District  of Alaska,                                                               
introduced  herself. She  appeared  before the  committee in  her                                                               
capacity  as  Co-chair  of  the  Alaska  Rural  Justice  and  Law                                                               
Enforcement  Commission. She  delivered the  following PowerPoint                                                               
slide presentation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:43:01 AM                                                                                                                    
Slide 1 - Presentation Summary                                                                                                  
   · History                                                                                                                    
   · Commission Membership                                                                                                      
   · Process                                                                                                                    
   · Recommendation Highlights                                                                                                  
   · Recommendations Impacting State Law                                                                                        
   · Commission's Future                                                                                                        
   · Question and Answer                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH  advised the committee  that she would  briefly discuss                                                               
the  first three  items  in the  presentation  and then  Attorney                                                               
General  Marquez would  address  the  recommendations. She  would                                                               
then advise  the committee  on the future  of the  Commission and                                                               
then provide an opportunity for questions at the end of the                                                                     
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Slide 2 - History                                                                                                               
   · Created by Congress in 2004                                                                                                
   · Charged with studying 4 broad areas:                                                                                       
          1. Law Enforcement                                                                                                    
          2. Judicial Services                                                                                                  
          3. Alcohol Importation and Interdiction                                                                               
          4. Domestic Violence and Child Abuse                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Slide 3 - Commission Membership                                                                                                 
  · Appointed by U.S. Attorney General (Department of Justice)                                                                  
   · Federal and State Co-Chairs                                                                                                
          U.S. Attorney and Alaska Attorney General                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Slide 4 - Members                                                                                                               
   · Federal Co-Chair:  Deborah Smith                                                                                           
   · State Co-Chair:  David Marquez                                                                                             
   · Commissioner of Public Safety:  Bill Tandeske                                                                              
   · Alaska Municipal League:  Bruce Botelho                                                                                    
   · An Organized Borough:  Empty Seat                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Slide 5 - Members Cont'd                                                                                                        
   · Alaska Federation of Natives:  H. Buddy Brown                                                                              
   · Tribal Representation:  Wilson Justin                                                                                      
   · Non-Profit Native Corp:  Loretta Bullard                                                                                   
   · Alaska Native Justice Center: Gail Schubert                                                                                
   · Non-Voting Federal Court Rep:  James Torgerson                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Slide 6 - Staff                                                                                                                 
   · Alaska Native Justice Center - logistical support                                                                          
   · Various experts on a contractual basis                                                                                     
   · Special Assistant - technical support                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Slide 7 - Process                                                                                                               
   · Commission Meetings                                                                                                        
          October 2004-Present                                                                                                  
   · Working Groups                                                                                                             
          January - April 2005                                                                                                  
   · Public hearings                                                                                                            
          January - June 2005                                                                                                   
   · Finalization of Initial Report and Recommendations                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  commission   met  regularly  beginning  in   late  2004  and                                                               
established four  working groups  and developed the  calendar and                                                               
format  for receiving  public testimony.  They continued  to meet                                                               
regularly in  order to formulate recommendations  and present the                                                               
                     th                                                                                                         
findings  to  the  24   Legislature  and  to  the  United  States                                                               
Congress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Slide 8 - Working Groups (50 members total)                                                                                     
   · Formed by topic area                                                                                                       
   · Chaired by Commission members                                                                                              
          8-15 members                                                                                                          
   · Charged with presenting options                                                                                            
   · Met January - April 2005                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The Commission  established workgroups of  professionals, experts                                                               
and officials working  in fields related to the  four topics. The                                                               
Commissioners traveled to rural areas to hear public testimony.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Slide 9 - Public hearings                                                                                                       
   · Held mostly in rural locations                                                                                             
   · Partnered with meetings of prominent organizations                                                                         
   · Recorded and transcribed for review by Commissioners                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Slide 10 - List of Organizations Providing Testimony                                                                            
   · AFN Convention                                                                                                             
   · Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                    
   · Alaska Inter-Tribal Council Convention                                                                                     
   · Sitka, Juneau, Anchorage public testimony                                                                                  
   · Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference                                                                                      
   · Bristol Bay Native Association                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Slide 11 - Continued list                                                                                                       
   · Kawerak, Inc                                                                                                               
   · Native Village of Kotzebue                                                                                                 
   · North Slope/NW Arctic Borough (Barrow)                                                                                     
   · Tanana Chiefs Conference - Fairbanks                                                                                       
   · Assoc. of Village Council Presidents (Bethel)                                                                              
   · Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium                                                                                              
   · Organized Village of Kake                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Slide 12 - Recommendation Highlights                                                                                            
   · Working Groups created over 100 options                                                                                    
   · Commission adopted and organized options                                                                                   
   · Nine general categories as listed on next slide                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:47:51 AM                                                                                                                    
Slide 13 - Recommendations                                                                                                      
   · Engage in More Partnering and Collaboration                                                                                
   · Make Systemic Changes to Improve Rural Law Enforcement                                                                     
   · Enlarge the Use of Community-based Solutions                                                                               
   · Broaden the Use of Prevention Approaches                                                                                   
   · Broaden the Use of Therapeutic Approaches                                                                                  
  · Increase Employment of Rural Residents in Law Enforcement                                                                   
   · Build Additional Capacity                                                                                                  
   · Increase Access to Judicial Services                                                                                       
   · Expand the Use of New Technologies                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  MARQUEZ advised the committee  he would address                                                               
all nine options individually.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Slide 14 - Engage in More Partnering and Collaboration                                                                          
   · Develop more effective communication and coordination,                                                                     
     including cross training, among and between all governments                                                                
     and service agencies and organizations.                                                                                    
   · Develop agreements to better coordinate law enforcement and                                                                
     judicial services in rural Alaska                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  MARQUEZ reported that a  significant outcome of                                                               
the  Commission's  work  was to  engender  collaboration  of  the                                                               
stakeholders to  best address the  issues before  the Commission.                                                               
For  example,  the  Commission  suggests  increased  coordination                                                               
between state  and tribal governments, congressional  funding for                                                               
tribal justice association, and  justice materials made available                                                               
in different languages.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Slide  15   -  Make  Systemic   Changes  to  Improve   Rural  Law                                                               
Enforcement                                                                                                                     
   · Development   of   uniform    statewide-tiered   system   of                                                               
     certification and training                                                                                                 
   · Expansion of police and public safety training                                                                             
   · Further work for cooperation in alcohol interdiction                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Responding to  its first charge,  the Commission  offered several                                                               
recommendations  to improve  law enforcement  in rural  Alaska as                                                               
noted above.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Slide 16 - State Efforts to Improve Rural Law Enforcement                                                                       
   · New Troopers and Prosecutors                                                                                               
   · Rural Prosecution Team                                                                                                     
   · Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams                                                                                    
   · Cold Case Prosecutor                                                                                                       
   · Village Safety Aides                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The state  is currently undertaking  many efforts to  improve law                                                               
enforcement  in rural  Alaska. For  example,  in FY2005  Governor                                                               
Murkowski included  in his  proposed operating  budget additional                                                               
funding  for  20   new  state  troopers  and   six  new  criminal                                                               
prosecutors. Also,  the DOL  received a  $2 million  dollar grant                                                               
from  the   US  Department  of   Justice  to  create   the  Rural                                                               
Prosecution Support Team.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
In November of  2005, Rick Svobodny was  appointed Alaska's first                                                               
cold-case  prosecutor.  DPS  is  currently  working  on  a  pilot                                                               
project for  Village Safety Aides.  The idea  is to have  a local                                                               
resident working  with the  Village Health  Aide to  provide very                                                               
basic public safety services, such  as water safety, fire safety,                                                               
curfew and suicide prevention.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Slide  17 -  State  Efforts to  Address  Alcohol Importation  and                                                               
Interdiction                                                                                                                    
   · Postal Service cross designation authority                                                                                 
   · Governor's Omnibus Crime Bill SB 170 (2004)                                                                                
   · Significant Bootlegging Prosecutions                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The  Commission concluded  that further  cooperation between  the                                                               
state and  federal governments is  necessary to enhance  drug and                                                               
alcohol   enforcement,   specifically    using   Postal   Service                                                               
Investigators  to  target local  option  villages  and their  hub                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Governor    Murkowski's   Crime    Bill   provided    innumerable                                                               
improvements   to  local   option   and   bootlegging  laws   and                                                               
bootlegging prosecutions have been quite successful since then.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Slide 18 - Enlarge the Use of Community-based Solutions                                                                         
   · DJJ delegate authority to tribes in certain juvenile                                                                       
     matters                                                                                                                    
   · Expand funding for local prevention and intervention                                                                       
     programs for DV and child abuse                                                                                            
   · Develop community-based, restorative justice re-entry                                                                      
     programs                                                                                                                   
   · DOC seek alternatives to out-of-state prisons                                                                              
   · Explore alcohol distribution centers                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Slide 19 - Broaden the Use of Prevention Approaches                                                                             
   · Insufficient prevention in rural Alaska                                                                                    
   · Expand culturally appropriate programs                                                                                     
   · Engage youth and adults in healthy activities                                                                              
   · Information in schools - early grades                                                                                      
          DV and child abuse                                                                                                    
          Teaching respect-based values (Elders)                                                                                
          Interpersonal relationships                                                                                           
          Alcohol and substance abuse                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The  Commission  ruled  that there  are  insufficient  prevention                                                               
approaches   in   rural   Alaska.   They   recommend   culturally                                                               
appropriate programs  to reduce the demand  for alcohol, starting                                                               
with the youth.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Slide 20 - Broaden the Use of Therapeutic Approaches                                                                            
   · Alcohol and drug abuse                                                                                                     
   · Therapeutic courts                                                                                                         
   · Foster care                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Although there are a number  of programs that target the problems                                                               
of substance  abuse, domestic violence, child  abuse and neglect,                                                               
and sexual  abuse, there  is a great  need to  expand therapeutic                                                               
approaches in relation to alcohol and drug abuse issues.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:00:11 AM                                                                                                                    
Slide  21  -  Increase  Employment  of  Rural  Residents  in  Law                                                               
Enforcement and Judicial Services                                                                                               
     · Overrepresentation of Alaska Natives in correctional                                                                     
        systems                                                                                                                 
     · Focused recruiting effort to employ Alaska Natives in                                                                    
        systems                                                                                                                 
     · Train and use VPSOs as Probation Officers                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Due to the significant overrepresentation  of Alaska Natives from                                                               
rural communities, there is a  growing need to recruit and employ                                                               
Natives in the correctional system.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Slide 22 - Build Additional Capacity                                                                                            
   · Lack of infrastructure to support rural Alaska public                                                                      
     safety                                                                                                                     
   · Improve housing                                                                                                            
   · Increase intra-community transportation                                                                                    
   · Provide adequate law enforcement offices and holding                                                                       
     facilities                                                                                                                 
   · Improve equipment                                                                                                          
   · Implement "sub-hub" concept                                                                                                
   · Statewide database and reporting requirements to monitor                                                                   
     investigations                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The Commission reviewed a multiple  of indicators that pointed to                                                               
the relative lack of infrastructure  to support police and public                                                               
safety  functions   in  rural  Alaska,   which  in  turn   has  a                                                               
detrimental effect on recruitment  and retention of officers. The                                                               
Commission recommends  improvement and  expansion of  housing for                                                               
officers,    increased   ability    appropriate   intra-community                                                               
transportation,  more  law   enforcement  offices,  and  improved                                                               
equipment.   These   improvements   could  be   accomplished   by                                                               
constructing  multipurpose facilities  in the  larger underserved                                                               
village   locations.   Troopers   currently   assigned   to   hub                                                               
communities  would   be  reassigned   to  the   "sub-hub"  posts,                                                               
providing significantly quicker response time.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Slide 23 - Increase Access to Judicial Services                                                                                 
   · Enhanced funding to increase rural Alaskans' access to                                                                     
     civil legal assistance                                                                                                     
   · Restore federal funding opportunities for tribal courts                                                                    
     located within the boundaries of municipalities                                                                            
   · Increase use of tribal courts and video-conferencing                                                                       
     capability                                                                                                                 
   · Training and technical assistance for state & tribal judges                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The Commission found  that residents of rural Alaska  do not have                                                               
access  to sufficient  civil legal  assistance  to redress  legal                                                               
problems  related  to  domestic  violence  and  child  abuse  and                                                               
recommends  enhanced funding  to  respond to  the  need. It  also                                                               
recommends  the  increased  use   of  tribal  courts  and  video-                                                               
conferencing  capability,  along   with  training  and  technical                                                               
assistance  to  judges and  support  staff  in the  Alaska  Court                                                               
System  and in  tribal  courts to  instruct  participants of  the                                                               
value of cultural differences in rural Alaska.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Slide 24 - Expand the Use of New Technologies                                                                                   
   · Increase access to telecommunications                                                                                      
   · Allow law enforcement to use telehealth system in rural                                                                    
     Alaska                                                                                                                     
   · Create system of regional 911 dispatch centers                                                                             
  · Open eligibility to Homeland Security programs and funding                                                                  
   · DOC explore electronic monitoring                                                                                          
   · ABC Board develop statewide database                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Alaska  enjoys the  most sophisticated  telehealth system  in the                                                               
world but  hundreds of rural villages  do not have access  to the                                                               
already-in-place broadband  capabilities in the  communities. The                                                               
Commission  recommends  changing  current  regulations  to  allow                                                               
rural police to utilize the bandwidth.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Slide 25 - Additional Recommendations Impacting State Law                                                                       
   · Most recommendations have at least minor fiscal impacts                                                                    
        o State and federal funding should be sought                                                                            
   · Change definition of alcohol manufacture and expand                                                                        
     forfeiture provisions - SB 210/HB 373                                                                                      
   · Ban written order sales to dry towns                                                                                       
   · Ban shipping plastic by air                                                                                                
   · Change regulatory definition of a village from 1000                                                                        
     individuals to 1500 individuals                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Currently  more than  100  communities in  Alaska  have chosen  a                                                               
local  option  to combat  the  problems  associated with  alcohol                                                               
abuse  and  violence.  SB   210  strengthens  current  forfeiture                                                               
provisions in the statutes and  the Commission fully supports the                                                               
bill.  Other Commission  recommendations include  banning written                                                               
order sales  and the  shipping of  plastic by  air to  dry towns.                                                               
They  also  recommend changing  the  regulatory  definition of  a                                                               
village from 1000 to 1500 individuals.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:07:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Slide 26 - Commission Future                                                                                                    
   ƒRequest to Congress to extend life of the Commission                                                                       
   ƒExpand representation on Commission                                                                                        
             State of Alaska, Commissioner of Health and Social                                                                 
             Services                                                                                                           
             Representative of Alaska Native Health Care                                                                        
             providers                                                                                                          
             Non-voting State Court representative appointed by                                                                 
             the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Noting  the importance  of continued  monitoring, the  Commission                                                               
would like to extend its life and to expand representation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Slide 27 - Commission Future cont'd                                                                                             
   ƒContinue dialogue with stakeholders                                                                                        
  ƒMonitor development and implementation of recommendations                                                                   
   ƒConduct additional research                                                                                                
   ƒEvaluate the impact of new and expanded activities into the                                                                
     future                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
As the  Commission moves forward,  it will continue  the dialogue                                                               
among   justice  stakeholders,   monitor   the  development   and                                                               
implementation   of  the   recommendations,  conduct   additional                                                               
research, and evaluate the impact  of new and expanded activities                                                               
into the future.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Slide 28 - Commission Future cont'd                                                                                             
   ƒObjectives   to   ensure    implementation   of   Commission                                                               
     recommendations:                                                                                                           
        o Advocate at State and Federal levels                                                                                  
        o Educate and obtain buy-in from stakeholders and public                                                                
        o Advocate for expansion of innovative prevention, early                                                                
          intervention and treatment programs                                                                                   
        o Increase interest in recruitment, training and hiring                                                                 
          of qualified Alaska Natives in the law enforcement and                                                                
          justice fields                                                                                                        
        o Further define the role of the Commission                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The major issues in rural  Alaska are alcohol and substance abuse                                                               
and focusing  on prevention  rather than dealing  with it  in the                                                               
law enforcement department.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[End of presentation]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:10:24 AM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  TANDESKE,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Public  Safety                                                               
(DPS), explained  to the committee  that DPS has been  trying new                                                               
concepts in  order to make  a difference  at the ground  level in                                                               
the villages. They  are focusing on public safety  in villages as                                                               
opposed   to  law   enforcement  since   it  is   impossible  and                                                               
unnecessary to  put an officer  into every village.  Instead, the                                                               
pilot project is  to obtain an asset from within  the village who                                                               
would  work with  the  village  health aide  to  make a  positive                                                               
impact on some social issues.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:13:52 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER TANDESKE  advised that  they are working  on getting                                                               
cross designation  of authority  for drug  troopers to  work with                                                               
the postal  service to inspect  for drugs and  alcohol shipments.                                                               
This is  a good way  to combine efforts  and use assets  that the                                                               
state already has.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The "Sub-Hub"  concept works proactively  to the issue  and would                                                               
move troopers out  of the hub areas to  work surrounding villages                                                               
proactively. The  first test was to  move a trooper from  Nome to                                                               
Unalakleet. The trooper  met with the school and  the council and                                                               
has  already made  a positive  effect.  The DPS  is working  with                                                               
Alaska Housing  Finance to utilize  projects that are  already in                                                               
place or  being built. This would  allow them to move  in and out                                                               
of certain areas proactively.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:16:52 AM                                                                                                                    
One of  the bigger projects in  the works is to  build a facility                                                               
in either  Savoonga or  Gambell to  be used  as an  apartment and                                                               
office. This would allow for them  to move troopers in and out on                                                               
a North  Slope schedule of two  weeks on and two  weeks off. With                                                               
this concept  the department could  have troopers on  that island                                                               
more  than 80  percent  of the  time. The  project  plans to  use                                                               
existing funding to complete the goal.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The  department  has  a   well-established  village  health  aide                                                               
program and  they carry an inordinate  amount of the load  in the                                                               
village. Another individual with  some basic training from within                                                               
the  community to  work with  the health  aide in  the form  of a                                                               
village  safety   officer  would   help  relieve   pressure.  The                                                               
department  would lose  nothing  by  trying something  different,                                                               
Commissioner Tandeske said.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:19:27 AM                                                                                                                    
The Alaska  Police Standards Council  is meeting in  Fairbanks on                                                               
May 15,2006.  Chief Assistant Attorney  General Dean  Guaneli and                                                               
the  Commissioner  plan to  brief  the  Council  on some  of  the                                                               
recommendations of  the Alaska Rural Justice  and Law Enforcement                                                               
Commission.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKE concluded  his comments  with an  example.                                                               
Bethel has been  dealing with the alcohol delivery  system on the                                                               
local level and is seeing a  reduction in violent crimes. The DPS                                                               
supports them but at some  point lawmakers might have to consider                                                               
whether  to  impose some  other  concepts,  such as  a  mandatory                                                               
delivery  location for  better  control  of alcohol.  Controlling                                                               
alcohol  and drugs  is paramount  to helping  the community  deal                                                               
with safety issues, which is  not specific to law enforcement but                                                               
includes accidental  deaths on 4-wheelers and  drowning and fire.                                                               
The  department can  make an  impact  in many  ways that  doesn't                                                               
necessarily require a full force law enforcement presence.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:22:44 AM                                                                                                                    
WILSON  JUSTIN,  Vice President  and  Acting  President of  Mount                                                               
Sanford Tribal  Consortium, introduced himself and  described his                                                               
community. Mount Sanford  is between Tok and  Glennallen in terms                                                               
of judicial services  and outreach. The community is  also on the                                                               
borderline  in terms  of enforcement  activities  for the  Alaska                                                               
State Troopers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Most tribal communities  are proactive and are  trying to develop                                                               
restorative  justice   systems  that   work  to   strengthen  the                                                               
communities. Alignment  between the state and  tribal communities                                                               
is  extremely  important and  it  begins  with understanding  the                                                               
language and legal  terms necessary to interact  with each other.                                                               
The Commission  has helped  tremendously to  bring the  state and                                                               
tribal communities together and the issues to light.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:25:48 AM                                                                                                                    
There is  a tremendous amount  of infusion into  the jurisdiction                                                               
arenas on  both sides and the  Commission is a step  in the right                                                               
direction  to bring  the two  into alignment.  Tribal communities                                                               
are not  a threat and  if not  for tribal officers  and motivated                                                               
tribal  employees  serving  their  communities;  the  communities                                                               
would  have self-destructed  a generation  ago.  He credited  the                                                               
ability  of   tribal  communities  to  proactively   hold  things                                                               
together  long enough  to be  assisted  by the  formation of  the                                                               
Commission. Mr. Justin  related his personal story  of growing up                                                               
and  witnessing  the  destruction  that alcohol  brought  to  his                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JUSTIN suggested  that  it  is easy  to  overlook the  rural                                                               
communities because of the small  population but, he reminded the                                                               
committee, those rural communities  send millions of dollars each                                                               
year into Anchorage and Fairbanks.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:29:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JUSTIN said people don't  realize the dynamics and the modern                                                               
shift in  tribal communities.  They are  working hard  to develop                                                               
new  models   that  accommodate   traditional  values   and  also                                                               
encapsulate the  younger generation.  He said the  ultimate issue                                                               
that needs  to be resolved is  whether the State of  Alaska wants                                                               
to partner with  the tribal communities to  collaborate and solve                                                               
their overlapping problems.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:31:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  spoke of  the  many  opportunities for  community                                                               
improvement  around  the  state.  The  Alaska  State  Legislature                                                               
harbors  an  ongoing  commitment  to  take care  of  all  of  the                                                               
citizens.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:39:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS shared  his experience  working with  Commissioner                                                               
Tandeske  and with  other  legislators to  address  the issue  of                                                               
housing  accommodations and  training for  village public  safety                                                               
officers (VPSOs).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:43:06 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JUSTIN  clarified his  point  about  economic measures.  The                                                               
solutions are  all high cost  whether the solution  is prevention                                                               
or building more jails.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  agreed and  said  communities  need to  want  the                                                               
interaction with  the state.  He speculated  that they  only want                                                               
state interaction on a selective basis.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:45:06 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS asked  Mr. Justin to comment on  the village safety                                                               
aide pilot program.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUSTIN  said the idea would  work well and since  the village                                                               
health aide program  has been in place for many  years, the model                                                               
is  there.  The program,  if  implemented,  should recognize  the                                                               
cultural competency.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  opined that there could  be a level of  trust lost                                                               
by  replacing a  village health  aide  with someone  of a  higher                                                               
authority.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUSTIN  agreed. Most health aides  are put on the  spot every                                                               
day.  There  are  things  that  occur  that  cross  the  line  to                                                               
criminality particularly  with cases  of suspected drug  abuse or                                                               
domestic violence. A respected tribal  member may be suspected of                                                               
domestic  violence  or  bootlegging.   A  family  member  may  be                                                               
suspected of  substance abuse or  sexual abuse. Those  are things                                                               
that  village  members  face  daily   and  the  daily  situations                                                               
emphasize the need  for a system to protect the  health aide that                                                               
might turn somebody in.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:52:58 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER TANDESKE recognized that  rural communities were not                                                               
asking for the  government to fix all of their  problems and that                                                               
there  must  be local  accountability.  The  village safety  aide                                                               
program would provide for a  local authority to deal with quality                                                               
of life  issues of the rural  communities. The worse thing  to do                                                               
would be to do nothing, he said.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked  Mr. Justin whether the  state justice system                                                               
and the tribal community alignment  would support and protect the                                                               
village health aide.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUSTIN said  yes. Many tribal leaders are faceless  and it is                                                               
easy to  undercut them.  An initially simple  issue to  deal with                                                               
can turn into a conflagration because  of a lack of alignment and                                                               
a language barrier.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:58:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked whether the  law enforcement issues of child                                                               
abuse,  domestic  violence,  and   felony  drug  violations  were                                                               
outside the realistic realm of the VPSO.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUSTIN  said the issue should  be looked at in  the 100-year-                                                               
long arena  of exposure  to alcohol and  the western  society. He                                                               
said:                                                                                                                           
     The issue  of jurisdictional  activities is  related to                                                                    
     understanding of traditional practices.  So many of our                                                                    
     best-informed  tribal leaders  have passed  away before                                                                    
     they had  a chance  to instill or  install or  speak to                                                                    
     that traditional  knowledge. So now  tribal communities                                                                    
     have to look at evolution in terms of practices.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:02:16 AM                                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER   TANDESKE  followed   up   with  Senator   French's                                                               
question.  He said  there  does  get to  be  pressure for  tribal                                                               
solutions. As an example, he  said, the village of Kipnuk adopted                                                               
a search policy and that made  the troopers nervous. On the other                                                               
hand  it  did  reduce  the  amount of  alcohol  coming  into  the                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Mr. Justin  whether marijuana was a problem                                                               
in the rural communities.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUSTIN said it  was part and parcel to the  problem but it is                                                               
not a large problem.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER TANDESKE  said his  understanding statewide  that it                                                               
is a  problem in the  western coastal area  but not a  quick cash                                                               
crop.  Statistics show  alcohol provides  a much  higher rate  of                                                               
return on  the black market. The  DPS moved a drug  dog to Bethel                                                               
in January and  recently intercepted 42 pounds  of marijuana, six                                                               
ounces  of cocaine,  and $89,000  in cash.  The street  value was                                                               
estimated to be close to $1 million dollars.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:06:57 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS  said he visited  many villages as an  advisor to                                                               
the  Alaska  National  Guard  and   expressed  concern  that  the                                                               
Legislature  could provide  a solution  to the  alcohol and  drug                                                               
problems.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:09:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Gene Therriault joined the meeting.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. JUSTIN  responded to Senator Huggins  and said that he  was a                                                               
firm  believer in  local solutions  for local  problems. But,  he                                                               
observed, during a  collapse of leadership, for  example when the                                                               
state does  not support  the village  leaders, it  drives talent,                                                               
skills, values and courage out of  the rural arena and leaves the                                                               
criminals in  place. He said  that has been  going on for  half a                                                               
generation and the back up and  support needs to be put back into                                                               
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS asked  Commissioner  Tandeske how  to combine  the                                                               
VPSO and probation officer positions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKI recalled  that the  recommendation was  to                                                               
use the  VPSOs as extensions  of probation officers  and increase                                                               
the  duties  with  funding  from  the  money  that  is  currently                                                               
available from the 2002 Legislature.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:13:41 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  GUESS  asked whether  there  was  discussion to  include                                                               
public safety in the USF [Universal Service Fund] funding.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARQUEZ advised the committee that he would find out.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS   said  that  USF   works  toward   education  and                                                               
healthcare issues and  if the fund were broadened  to include the                                                               
DPS  it would  be an  easy avenue  to include  public safety  for                                                               
broadband use.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  TANDESKE advised  the  committee that  he has  been                                                               
working  on  a  pilot  project to  use  advanced  technology  for                                                               
domestic violence  offenders. For example, a  person convicted of                                                               
domestic  violence  in   a  remote  village  has   no  access  to                                                               
participate in any rehabilitative programs.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:15:43 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEEKINS   expressed  a  willingness   to  meet   with  the                                                               
Commission   during  the   interim  and   review  the   impending                                                               
Commission report. He expressed hope  that between the two groups                                                               
they  could implement  some  programs to  the  betterment of  the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 10:21:27 AM.                                                                           

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