Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

01/27/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:33:59 PM Start
01:34:31 PM Implementation Overview of Senate Bill 91
02:58:36 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Implementation Overview of Senate Bill 91 TELECONFERENCED
(29th Legislature)
Alaska Court System:
Nancy Meade, General Counsel
Department of Health and Social Services:
Diane Casto, Behavioral Health Policy Advisor
Tony Piper, ASAP Statewide Program Manager
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority:
Jeff Jesse
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 27, 2017                                                                                        
                           1:33 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
IMPLEMENTATION OVERVIEW OF SENATE BILL 91                                                                                       
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the implementation overview                                                              
of Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                              
DIANE CASTO, Behavioral Health Policy Advisor                                                                                   
Commissioner's Office                                                                                                           
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the implementation overview                                                              
of Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                              
TONY PIPER, Statewide Program Manager                                                                                           
Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)                                                                                            
Division of Behavioral Health                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated  in the implementation overview                                                             
of Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                              
JEFF JESSEE, Trust Program Officer                                                                                              
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority                                                                                            
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated  in the implementation overview                                                             
of Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:33:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:33  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Kelly, Wielechowski and Chair Coghill.                                                                      
^Implementation Overview of Senate Bill 91                                                                                      
           Implementation Overview of Senate Bill 91                                                                        
1:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the  purpose of the  meeting is  to hear                                                               
about some of the implementation  issues and timelines for SB 91.                                                               
He listed the  people who would present and invited  Ms. Meade to                                                               
come forward.                                                                                                                   
1:36:19 PMA                                                                                                                   
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel,  Administrative Staff, Alaska Court                                                               
System,  said she  was asked  to address  the committee  in three                                                               
general areas: 1) the implementation  steps and process the court                                                               
went  through   after  the   passage  of   Senate  Bill   91;  2)                                                               
implementation issues or areas of  concern that the committee may                                                               
want  to  address; and  3)  to  respond  to questions  about  the                                                               
statewide bail schedule.                                                                                                        
CHAIR  COGHILL   noted  that  Senator   Hughes  had   joined  the                                                               
MS. MEADE discussed what the Court  System did to ensure that the                                                               
agency would  use the new  laws embodied  in Senate Bill  91. She                                                               
explained that  the role of the  judges is to apply  the laws the                                                               
legislature passes and her role is  to ensure that the judges are                                                               
aware of those  laws. Her first step  was to write a  memo to the                                                               
judges pointing out  what had changed and what  they might expect                                                               
to  see.  She  also  provided materials  the  judges  would  find                                                               
helpful.  For  example, she  updated  the  penalty checklist  and                                                               
summarized the applicability  section of the bill  so that people                                                               
would know  what laws  apply to what  offenses depending  on when                                                               
the offense took place.                                                                                                         
MS. MEADE  said the bill can  be divided into three  phases. Many                                                               
things went into effect on July  12, 2016; more changes went into                                                               
effect on January 1, 2017;  and another set of changes, primarily                                                               
relating to pretrial, will go into effect in January, 2018.                                                                     
She reviewed  the outreach and  educational process  she followed                                                               
to  familiarize people  involved in  the criminal  justice system                                                               
with what  the bill said and  what the judges were  told the bill                                                               
said.  Initially, she  gave three  presentations in  Anchorage to                                                               
any  prosecutors  and defense  attorneys  who  wanted to  attend.                                                               
Next, she spoke  to 60 Alaska State Troopers at  the crime lab in                                                               
Anchorage.  Thereafter,  she  gave   1-2  hour  presentations  in                                                               
Juneau,  Fairbanks,   Palmer,  Bethel,  and  Kenai.   The  public                                                               
defender office and prosecutor's  office were always invited. She                                                               
responded to questions as best she  could and shied away from any                                                               
support  or  criticism  of  the   bill.  The  presentations  were                                                               
absolutely neutral and factual.                                                                                                 
MS. MEADE  related that the  administration office for  the Court                                                               
System continues  to hold weekly  two hour meetings.  In response                                                               
to the bill, the court rules  attorney has amended or added usage                                                               
notes  to four  court rules,  and the  two court  forms attorneys                                                               
have revised  or added 74  forms. Each of  those forms has  to be                                                               
approved by  the judges  and involves  quite a  bit of  work. She                                                               
cited the  example of the  process to receive a  limited driver's                                                               
license  for people  in certain  circumstances. The  form has  to                                                               
have  simple,  straightforward  language   that  the  public  can                                                               
understand and follow.  To arrive at consensus,  the Court System                                                               
held several  meetings with representatives from  the Division of                                                               
Motor  Vehicles   and  other  agencies.  "Getting   agreement  on                                                               
everything that had to be in those forms was quite a task."                                                                     
1:43:31 PM                                                                                                                    
She said this is an ongoing  process and the Court System is very                                                               
open  to  fixing things  that  aren't  working  as well  as  they                                                               
should. She provided  examples and related that they  also had to                                                               
amend  CourtView input  data instructions  for the  clerks, which                                                               
entailed several  teleconference with clerks statewide.  The bill                                                               
also requires the  court to provide certain data  to the Criminal                                                               
Justice Commission. That has been a  task for a single person and                                                               
she's had  a good number  of meetings to  make sure she  is doing                                                               
that appropriately.  She described  the internal meetings  as one                                                               
step  and  the  external  meetings  with DPS,  DMV,  and  DOC  as                                                               
1:45:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MEADE addressed  some of  issues the  Court System  believes                                                               
might be  appropriate for  the legislature to  look at.  She said                                                               
these have been brought to  the attention of the Criminal Justice                                                               
Commission so  that they may  make a recommendation to  fix these                                                               
as  well.  The  suggestions  are  not  in  the  large  policy  or                                                               
substantive  areas.  She noted  that  she  provided a  packet  of                                                               
selected  sections of  the statute  that might  make it  a little                                                               
more straightforward.                                                                                                           
CHAIR COGHILL  said his  intention is to  go over  the Commission                                                               
recommendations on Monday.                                                                                                      
MS. MEADE  clarified that she would  be speaking to the  words in                                                               
the bill and referring to the  hand written numbers at the bottom                                                               
of the pages she provided.                                                                                                      
Page 1  looks at Sec. 29  and Sec. 30  of Senate Bill 91.  At the                                                               
Commission's  recommendation, these  sections  made violation  of                                                               
condition of release  into a violation. Formerly it  was a crime.                                                               
This recommendation  was based on  information that this  was one                                                               
of the  less serious  offenses that  people can  commit and  so a                                                               
violation was  a more appropriate  way to handle  these offenses.                                                               
The legislature adopted the Commission's recommendation.                                                                        
MS.  MEADE  this is  an  area  the  Commission will  recommend  a                                                               
change.  This  provision has  proven  to  be quite  difficult  to                                                               
implement  and   quite  difficult   logistically  and   might  be                                                               
something that  does need some  jail time.  She said the  crux of                                                               
the problem is  that this is a violation and  the maximum penalty                                                               
is $1,000.  It is  not a  jailable offense.  There is  a specific                                                               
provision  that says  an  officer  can arrest  a  person for  the                                                               
behavior  but the  jail  doesn't  want to  keep  them because  it                                                               
doesn't make sense to keep somebody  on bail pretrial if there is                                                               
no possibility of jail time  later. She said the Criminal Justice                                                               
Commission has reviewed  the problems that have  been inherent in                                                               
this change and  may be recommending some jail  time. "That would                                                               
alleviate the logistical concerns the  court had in deciding what                                                               
to  do with  these  people when  they are  brought  up for  their                                                               
arraignment or their first hearing on this offense."                                                                            
1:50:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE directed  attention to page 2 that looks  at Sec. 65 of                                                               
Senate  Bill 91.  She  explained  that this  is  a provision  the                                                               
legislature  inserted that  says  that at  sentencing, the  court                                                               
shall provide  a form that tells  the victim how to  keep abreast                                                               
of what is  happening with the offender. Victims are  able to use                                                               
the  Victim  Identification   and  Notification  Everyday  (VINE)                                                               
system  website or  toll-free  number to  receive  updates on  an                                                               
inmate's status. This seems logical  and straightforward, but the                                                               
court  encountered  a problem  when  it  tried to  implement  the                                                               
requirement  that "the  court  shall provide  the  victim with  a                                                               
form,"  because the  court doesn't  have victim  information. The                                                               
court has  been complying with  the requirement if the  victim is                                                               
present at  sentencing, and when the  victim is on the  phone the                                                               
judge  directs the  victim to  the  court website  to access  the                                                               
form.  However, the  court cannot  give the  form to  victims who                                                               
aren't present or  on the phone or decline to  be involved in the                                                               
prosecution. It's not uncommon for this to happen.                                                                              
She  said the  Criminal Justice  Commission discussed  this issue                                                               
and will  probably recommend  changing the  wording to  say, "The                                                               
court  shall make  available to  the victim  if practical".  "The                                                               
court wants  to comply and  those are the  steps it has  taken so                                                               
far to do so," Ms. Meade said.                                                                                                  
MS. MEADE directed  attention to page 3 that looks  at Sec. 77 of                                                               
Senate Bill 91.  This is the suspended entry  of judgement (SEJ).                                                               
This is  an alternative means  of resolving criminal  cases, when                                                               
both the  prosecution and defense  agree. The court can  give the                                                               
offender just  probation time after  they either plead  guilty or                                                               
are found  guilty. If the  offender complies with  the conditions                                                               
the  entire time,  the  case  will be  dismissed  at  the end  of                                                               
probation. The  case will also  come off CourtView so  the person                                                               
won't suffer the negative consequences  of having a conviction on                                                               
their record from that offense.                                                                                                 
She  explained  that  when  the  court  tried  to  implement  the                                                               
provision, there  was a question  of whether any jail  time could                                                               
be  imposed.  The Commission  discussed  this  earlier today  and                                                               
agreed  to  make   a  yes  or  no  recommendation.   She  said  a                                                               
clarification  would be  helpful  because AS  12.55.086 says  the                                                               
court may  impose a short  period of incarceration  in connection                                                               
with a suspended imposition of  sentence. She noted that the same                                                               
provision does not apply to  suspended entry of judgements (SEJs)                                                               
and  some clarification  might  be in  order to  avoid  a lot  of                                                               
questions about that.                                                                                                           
She pointed  to the roster of  violations on page 4  [Sec. 77. AS                                                               
12.55.078(f)] that are excluded from  SEJs and advised that these                                                               
are basically  copied from the  Suspended Imposition  of Sentence                                                               
(SIS)  statute.   However,  there  are  also   exclusions  within                                                               
particular SIS  statutes that  are not excluded  by the  SEJ. She                                                               
said the  main example  that's causing questions  is the  DUI and                                                               
refusal statutes.  Within Title  28 it  says that  an SIS  is not                                                               
available but it  does not say a SEJ is  not available. It's open                                                               
to   interpretation.  She   also  questioned   the  language   in                                                               
subsection (f),  paragraphs (1)-(6),  that refers to  whether the                                                               
person is  convicted of a  violation of certain crimes.  "I'm not                                                               
certain but I  believe the legislature's intent was  to have this                                                               
person not have the consequences  of a conviction." She suggested                                                               
that perhaps  the language should  be "as charged  with". Earlier                                                               
in the  statute is says  the person  pleads guilty, and  there is                                                               
law  that says  that if  a person  pleads guilty,  then they  are                                                               
guilty. Thus,  it's unclear  whether the  person is  convicted or                                                               
not during  that time period  even if their case  gets dismissed.                                                               
She  noted  that  a  problem   with  SIS  is  people  don't  know                                                               
thereafter  if  they  can  say   they've  never  been  convicted.                                                               
Clarification would be helpful, she said.                                                                                       
1:56:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE turned to  page 6 that looks at Sec.  80 of Senate Bill                                                               
91. This section amends AS  12.55.090(f), which is a statute that                                                               
talks  about  all  things  the  court can  do  when  there  is  a                                                               
conviction or  anything when  the court  is imposing  a sentence.                                                               
Paragraph (8) is  a catchall instruction that says  the court may                                                               
suspend imposition of sentence. She  suggested it might be a good                                                               
idea to  also include wording  that says  a can suspend  entry of                                                               
judgement. She  described this  as perhaps  a drafting  error and                                                               
requested clarification.                                                                                                        
MS. MEADE turned to  page 7 that looks at Sec.  90 of Senate Bill                                                               
91. This section  amends AS 12.55.125(e), which is  a DUI penalty                                                               
provision  that appears  within the  general penalty  provisions.                                                               
She explained that this section  discusses the presumptive ranges                                                               
for class C  felonies, but felonies can  have aggravating factors                                                               
that  allow the  court  to go  above  the top  of  the range,  or                                                               
mitigating  factors that  allow the  court to  impose a  sentence                                                               
that is less than the range in the statute.                                                                                     
She said  the legislature  added certain  felony DUI  offenses in                                                               
subsection (e)(4) and that led  to some confusion because DUI and                                                               
refusal crimes have their own  penalty provision within their own                                                               
statutes. Title  28 says  that for  a first  time felony  DUI the                                                               
penalty is a  minimum of 120 days, but  subsection (e)(4)(B) says                                                               
the  range is  120 days  to 239  days. She  suggested eliminating                                                               
subsection (e)(4)(B),(C) and (D) and  instead adding a cap all in                                                               
one place  so there aren't  two different penalties for  the same                                                               
conduct in two different spots in the statutes.                                                                                 
She noted  that she included  the DUI  statute in the  packets to                                                               
point out where that happens.                                                                                                   
1:59:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE turned to page 15 that  looks at Sec. 91 of Senate Bill                                                               
91.  It   amends  AS  12.55.135(a),   the  class   A  misdemeanor                                                               
sentences.  She   said  those  are  clear,   but  many  statutes,                                                               
particularly  in the  Fish and  Game Title  and in  Title 28  say                                                               
within  the  statute  that  this  is  an  A  misdemeanor  with  a                                                               
punishment up to 90 days in jail.                                                                                               
It's  difficult  to  coordinate  those   two,  but  it  would  be                                                               
alleviated quite  a bit  if Sec 91,  towards the  beginning, said                                                               
"unless  otherwise  provided"  in   the  provision  defining  the                                                               
offense.  She noted  that language  does  appear in  Sec. 92  for                                                               
class  B  misdemeanors.  This change  would  be  clarifying.  She                                                               
added,  "From the  Court  System's point  of  view, anything  the                                                               
legislature decides  as long as  it's clear will  stop litigation                                                               
in that area."                                                                                                                  
2:01:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE turned to  page 17 that looks at Sec.  104 and Sec. 105                                                               
of  Senate  Bill 91.  These  sections  change the  law  regarding                                                               
driving with  a license that  is suspended (DWLS),  cancelled, or                                                               
revoked.  This  change was  done  at  the recommendation  of  the                                                               
Commission on the theory that  these were nonviolent offenses and                                                               
perhaps these people  didn't need to be in jail.  DUI and refusal                                                               
is still a  class A misdemeanor with specified  penalties, but if                                                               
the license was  suspended or revoked as the  result of something                                                               
other  than a  DUI, points  for example,  the bill  says it's  an                                                               
infraction  punishable by  a fine  of  $300. That  works for  the                                                               
Court  System,  but   the  crime  of  driving   without  a  valid                                                               
operator's license  perhaps should  have been addressed  as well.                                                               
AS 28.15.011  prohibits that and  AS 28.90.010 imposes  a penalty                                                               
of no more that $500 or 90  days in jail. She relayed that judges                                                               
brought this to her attention  as something the legislature might                                                               
consider addressing. It would not be a difficult fix.                                                                           
MS. MEADE  directed attention  to pages  21 and  22 that  look at                                                               
Sec. 113 of Senate Bill 91. This  adds a new subsection (g) to AS                                                               
29.25.070. She  said this  was discussed  at the  Alaska Criminal                                                               
Justice Commission  meeting and  a recommendation will  likely be                                                               
forthcoming. She  explained that  this provision was  included in                                                               
the bill to  ensure that municipalities would  not have penalties                                                               
that are  more severe than state  law. The idea sounded  fine but                                                               
it  raised  two problems  for  the  court.  That is  whether  the                                                               
legislature intended to  include both fines and jail  time and if                                                               
the  intention  was to  cover  regulations.  She said  this  most                                                               
obviously  comes  into  play  with traffic.  For  example,  if  a                                                               
municipality has a  traffic ordinance that says it's  a $200 fine                                                               
to go through a flashing red  light and state regulation says the                                                               
penalty  is $150,  it's a  problem for  the Court  System because                                                               
they process nearly all cities'  default traffic tickets and they                                                               
have to figure  out what amount to enter on  a default judgement.                                                               
The Court System has asked for clarification.                                                                                   
The  most  obvious  area  where  this comes  into  play  is  with                                                               
traffic.  For  example,  the  Municipality  of  Anchorage  has  a                                                               
traffic ordinance that  might say it's a $200 fine  to go through                                                               
a flashing  red light,  whereas under  state regulations  it says                                                               
the penalty  for that is  $150. So one  reading is that  the city                                                               
could  not  charge  $200  anymore  and  this  became  problematic                                                               
because from  the Court  System point of  view we  process nearly                                                               
all cities'  default traffic  tickets. So when  you get  a ticket                                                               
within the Municipality of Anchorage, you  can go down and pay it                                                               
or some people ignore it. When  it's ignored and a certain number                                                               
of days  pass they  give it to  the court and  ask for  a default                                                               
judgement so  they can collect on  it. She said she  believes the                                                               
committee will hear more about this from the Commission.                                                                        
2:06:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE  turned to  page 23  that looks at  Sec. 170  of Senate                                                               
Bill 91. It amends AS 47.37.040,  the duties of the Department of                                                               
Health and Social Services (DHSS).  She said representatives from                                                               
the  department  will  speak today,  but  a  particular  question                                                               
centers  on   page  25  in   paragraph  (21).  It   contains  the                                                               
description of the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP).                                                                        
At the recommendation of the  Commission, the legislature limited                                                               
that program  to take referrals  only for DUIs and  refusals. The                                                               
difficulty is  that the courts  have been sending people  to ASAP                                                               
for  alcohol-related  incidents  other   than  DUI  and  refusal.                                                               
Implementation of Senate Bill 165  brought this to the forefront.                                                               
That bill changed  the treatment of minors  consuming alcohol. It                                                               
formerly was  a misdemeanor and  as of  October 2016 it  became a                                                               
violation. Minors  caught consuming  or possessing alcohol  get a                                                               
$500 ticket but no jail time.  However, the court can reduce that                                                               
fine  to $50  if the  minor  completes an  alcohol safety  action                                                               
program  or  a  juvenile  alcohol  safety  action  program  or  a                                                               
community diversion panel.  The disconnect is that  is that while                                                               
the  legislature  recognized that  juveniles  could  go to  ASAP,                                                               
Senate Bill  91 provided  no authority for  ASAP to  handle these                                                               
juveniles. She said it hasn't  been a problem in practice because                                                               
ASAP has  been handling  juveniles just as  it did  before Senate                                                               
Bill 91 passed, but a technical fix is required.                                                                                
2:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MEADE  addressed  the questions  about  the  statewide  bail                                                               
schedule that  were brought up  during the previous  meeting. She                                                               
explained  that  the Court  System  has  always promulgated  bail                                                               
schedules.  That document  tells law  enforcement and  jails that                                                               
certain misdemeanor  offenses will  have a standardized  bail. If                                                               
somebody is arrested  for one of those offenses and  taken to the                                                               
jail, the  jail can look  at the bail  schedule and know  what to                                                               
do.  The jail  might collect  the bail  and the  person would  be                                                               
released  or  they   might  release  the  person   on  their  own                                                               
recognizance (OR), whatever the bail schedule says.                                                                             
She explained  that until this  past March, there  were different                                                               
bail schedules  in different districts, but  the presiding judges                                                               
determined it would be better  for state criminal justice to have                                                               
just one statewide  bail schedule. She noted that  she included a                                                               
copy of the bail schedule in the packet.                                                                                        
Paragraph  2 of  the bail  schedule  clearly states  it does  not                                                               
apply  to felonies.  Paragraph  3 clearly  states  that a  person                                                               
charged  with  domestic  violence  shall be  held  without  bail.                                                               
Paragraph 5 says that for  certain misdemeanors the person has to                                                               
be  brought before  a  judicial officer  for bail  to  be set  or                                                               
reviewed.  Paragraph   6  provides  that  all   other  defendants                                                               
arrested  without  a warrant,  shall  be  released on  their  own                                                               
recognizance  (OR), subject  to certain  basic conditions.  "They                                                               
are told  they must obey  court orders, they can't  leave Alaska,                                                               
they have to show up for their  next hearing and they are given a                                                               
date for  their first  appearance in  court." Paragraph  7 states                                                               
that the arresting  officer may always call  the on-call judicial                                                               
officer for a  different bail if the officer  believes OR release                                                               
would not  be protective  enough to  the community.  That happens                                                               
often,  she  said, and  judges  are  on  call for  that  purpose.                                                               
Paragraph 8 provides that if  an officer has reasonable suspicion                                                               
that  the  defendant  is  under   the  influence  of  alcohol,  a                                                               
condition of  release can  be that the  defendant not  possess or                                                               
consume alcohol.                                                                                                                
She  highlighted  item  6  in  the User  Notes  included  in  the                                                               
packets.  It   states  that  if   an  arrestee   is  particularly                                                               
dangerous, in part  because of alcohol, or  vulnerable because of                                                               
intoxication, the  officer can note the  special condition during                                                               
the arrest  and ask  the on-call  judicial officer  for something                                                               
other than  OR release if  that is what  is called for  under the                                                               
bail schedule.                                                                                                                  
MS. MEADE explained  that the new bail schedule was  an effort by                                                               
the presiding judges to bring  bail releases more in keeping with                                                               
the current bail  statute, AS 12.30.011. Subsection  (a) says the                                                               
presumption  is   that  a  person   is  released  on   their  own                                                               
recognizance.  Subsection  (b) provides  that  if  that will  not                                                               
reasonably assure  the appearance of  the person, or will  pose a                                                               
danger  to   the  victim,  other   persons,  or   the  community,                                                               
additional bail conditions may be  set. In recognition of some of                                                               
the  research showing  that the  state's pretrial  population had                                                               
grown 81  percent over  the last 10  years, the  presiding judges                                                               
thought  they could  do their  part to  ensure that  fewer people                                                               
were kept in jail pretrial when there was not a good reason.                                                                    
She said  law enforcement officers  voiced some  discontent about                                                               
the bail schedule during the  last Commission meeting and perhaps                                                               
they didn't realize they could  call the on-call judicial officer                                                               
in any particular case. In any  event, the judges have decided to                                                               
review the bail schedule,  particularly for misdemeanor assaults.                                                               
The  presiding  judges  will be  reviewing  whether  people  with                                                               
first-time misdemeanant assault charges  should released on their                                                               
own recognizance                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  asked if she believes  a bail schedule based  on a                                                               
blood alcohol level may be considered.                                                                                          
MS. MEADE replied  it probably will be considered,  but there are                                                               
some  concerns about  holding people  in  jail when  they have  a                                                               
certain blood alcohol  content. There is a question  of whether a                                                               
jail can afford  to hold people until their  alcohol level drops,                                                               
and another  question is whether  it is constitutional to  hold a                                                               
person based solely on their blood alcohol level.                                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL commented  on a case in Fairbanks  that resulted in                                                               
a lot  of community  outcry. An intoxicated  woman left  jail and                                                               
was subsequently run over and killed.  He said he would watch the                                                               
discussion and recommendations going forward.                                                                                   
MS.  MEADE clarified  that the  bail schedule  has nothing  to do                                                               
with  what is  arrestable;  it  is just  what  happens after  the                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL thanked  Ms. Meade for the time and  effort she put                                                               
into Senate Bill 91. He welcomed Diane Casto.                                                                                   
2:20:58 PM                                                                                                                    
DIANE  CASTO, Behavioral  Health  Policy  Advisor, Department  of                                                               
Health and  Social Services (DHSS),  informed the  committee that                                                               
DHSS has  been looking at the  integration of Senate Bill  91 and                                                               
Senate Bill  74, the  Medicaid reform  bill. Because  these bills                                                               
are   critically  linked,   DHSS  has   established  a   multiple                                                               
initiative work group  with a variety of  stakeholders. They meet                                                               
monthly  to ensure  everyone is  up to  date and  knows how  both                                                               
bills  are  impacting  their  work.  The  last  meeting  included                                                               
presentations on Medicaid assisted treatment  and how some of the                                                               
new federal dollars  coming in will impact their ability  to do a                                                               
better job. The  next meeting will have presentations  on the use                                                               
of  VIVITROL through  the Partners  Reentry Center,  and how  the                                                               
Department  of Corrections  (DOC)  will use  VIVITROL for  people                                                               
that  are exiting  prison. She  emphasized that  both bills  will                                                               
help DHSS  do a better job  of preparing people to  reenter their                                                               
communities and make them healthier going forward.                                                                              
MS. CASTO listed the areas Mr.  Shilling asked her to discuss and                                                               
relayed that Tony Piper would talk about the ASAP program.                                                                      
CHAIR COGHILL asked  her to include updates on  the timelines for                                                               
the regulation packages.                                                                                                        
2:24:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CASTO discussed  the $1  million recidivism  reduction grant                                                               
that  DHSS received  to enhance  and  expand its  community-based                                                               
reentry efforts. She  said the goal is to help  people coming out                                                               
of institutions  get the  services they need  so they  can become                                                               
healthy and productive members of society and not recidivate.                                                                   
She explained  that in  October DHSS put  a request  for proposal                                                               
out that had  three categories. First, the  four existing reentry                                                               
coalitions  in  Anchorage,  Mat-Su, Juneau,  and  Fairbanks  were                                                               
given  the  opportunity  to  apply  for  money  to  expand  their                                                               
services and hire and/or coordinate  case management services for                                                               
people  getting out  of  prison in  those  four communities.  The                                                               
primary focus was  on case management services because  this is a                                                               
critical factor for people getting out of prison.                                                                               
The second category  was for developing grant  programs. This was                                                               
for communities whose reentry coalitions  were developing but for                                                               
some reason  hadn't really gotten off  the ground. Kenai/Soldotna                                                               
was the  only response  in this category.  They received  a grant                                                               
and  are  going through  the  process  of getting  the  coalition                                                               
working and  doing a community  assessment to identify  the needs                                                               
in the Kenai community.                                                                                                         
The third grant category focuses  on emerging reentry coalitions.                                                               
She explained  that the idea  is to  have a reentry  coalition in                                                               
every community that  has a DOC institution so  that people being                                                               
released  in   those  communities  will  have   a  case  manager,                                                               
services, and  a coordinated effort.  The Nome  community applied                                                               
for this grant and is just starting its work.                                                                                   
She  explained that  the $1  million  was a  one-year grant  with                                                               
continuations for  the next few  years. An additional  $2 million                                                               
will be  available next year for  those programs. The hope  is to                                                               
add funding  to the  emerging coalition  in Nome,  in particular,                                                               
and to  get responses  from Bethel and  Ketchikan that  also have                                                               
DOC  facilities.  DHSS  intends  to provide  training  for  these                                                               
grantees and provide opportunities to work together.                                                                            
2:30:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CASTO  related  that  the DHSS  budget  last  year  included                                                               
additional  money   for  new   substance  abuse   disorder  grant                                                               
programs. The  department received  $6 million  over 3  years for                                                               
sobering  centers,   detoxification  centers,   and/or  treatment                                                               
programs.  The  awards  were   announced  just  today:  Fairbanks                                                               
received  $500,000  for  a  sobering  center,  Central  Peninsula                                                               
General    Hospital    received    money   for    a    6-8    bed                                                               
detoxification/withdrawal management center,  and Set Free Alaska                                                               
in the Mat-Su  region received money for  treatment programs that                                                               
serve pregnant women and women with children.                                                                                   
CHAIR  COGHILL commented  that in  all  three areas  the need  is                                                               
greater than  the supply and  the timing  is too tight,  but it's                                                               
moving in the right direction.                                                                                                  
2:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CASTO  said the second  matter she  wanted to discuss  is the                                                               
change in the  Division of Public Assistance  and the elimination                                                               
of  the  restriction  that  denied  anyone  with  a  felony  drug                                                               
conviction  access to  public assistance  or food  stamps or  the                                                               
SNAP program [Supplemental  Nutrition Assistance Program]. Senate                                                               
Bill 91 removed that barrier,  with conditions. First, the felony                                                               
drug conviction  had to occur  on or  after August 22,  1996. The                                                               
offender also  has to complete one  or more of the  following: 1)                                                               
satisfactorily  serve  and  complete  a period  of  probation  or                                                               
parole,  2) is  serving or  has successfully  completed mandatory                                                               
participation in a drug or  alcohol treatment program, and 3) has                                                               
taken action  toward rehabilitation including participation  in a                                                               
drug or  alcohol treatment program  or is  successfully complying                                                               
with the requirements of their reentry plan.                                                                                    
She  said  the Division  of  Public  Assistance has  changed  its                                                               
internal policies and  protocols to meet the  new requirements in                                                               
Senate Bill 91.  A review of the data shows  that since August 1,                                                               
as many as 250  of the 489 drug felons that  had applied and were                                                               
previously  denied   food  stamps  are  eligible   and  receiving                                                               
benefits. About  75 people  had previously  applied for  and been                                                               
denied  Alaska  Temporary  Assistance  Program  (ATAP)  services.                                                               
Three of  those people reapplied,  were deemed eligible,  and are                                                               
now receiving ATAP services.                                                                                                    
MS.  CASTO reminded  the  members  that part  of  Senate Bill  91                                                               
addressed getting  inmates signed up  for Medicaid 90  days prior                                                               
to  release  so  they  would be  covered  immediately  when  they                                                               
reenter the  community. This  is important  because it's  often a                                                               
gap in access  to mental health or substance  abuse services that                                                               
leads  to recidivism.  Preliminary  DOC data  indicates that  445                                                               
inmates were given  a Medicaid application while  they were still                                                               
inside an  institution; 131 inmates completed  their applications                                                               
and  mailed them  to the  Division of  Public Assistance;  and 36                                                               
inmates refused to take, complete,  or submit an application. She                                                               
also  reported that  as  of January  2017,  229 individuals  were                                                               
enrolled  in  one  of  two   incarceration  subtypes.  The  first                                                               
includes  inmates  that  need 24  hour  or  more  hospitalization                                                               
outside  the prison  facility. Medicaid  covers this  population.                                                               
The second  subtype is inmates  that have signed up  for Medicaid                                                               
and  will be  covered as  soon as  they are  released. About  156                                                               
people are currently enrolled in  regular Medicaid who previously                                                               
were in  one of these  subtypes. "We  are making progress  and we                                                               
are very hopeful  that this is going  to be a huge  boon to those                                                               
individuals who  need ongoing health  care and  behavioral health                                                               
services."  She  relayed  that  Mr. Piper  will  talk  about  the                                                               
regulations related to the ASAP program and some of the testing.                                                                
2:41:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL asked  Mr. Piper to discuss the  problems that some                                                               
areas are having with the ASAP program.                                                                                         
2:42:38 PM                                                                                                                    
TONY  PIPER,  Program  Manager,  Alcohol  Safety  Action  Program                                                               
(ASAP), Division  of Behavioral Health, Department  of Health and                                                               
Social Services,  introduced himself  and provided  the following                                                               
     In  the ASAP  office for  the  first 6  months of  this                                                                    
     year, we had 1,801 clients  go through compared to last                                                                    
     year the first  6 months we had 3,218.  So it decreased                                                                    
     about 40 percent or so  from what we're used to seeing.                                                                    
     Out of  those 1,801,  1,609 were within  the guidelines                                                                    
     of what  Senate Bill  91 has coming  to ASAP.  And then                                                                    
     there  were another  192 which  were  outside of  those                                                                    
     guidelines. Those  included some assaults  and domestic                                                                    
     violence assaults and  alcohol import, shoplifting, and                                                                    
     various  other  activities  that were  outside  of  the                                                                    
     realm of Senate  Bill 91. And so, we have  been able to                                                                    
     handle  the referrals  to ASAP  so  far throughout  the                                                                    
MR. PIPER  explained that ASAP has  a screening tool and  a level                                                               
of service inventory. The latter  is a risk needs assessment that                                                               
is the same as  the one used by DOC and for  DUI and drug courts.                                                               
ASAP uses a shorter screening form.  All of the ASAP offices came                                                               
in for  training in October and  everyone learned how to  use the                                                               
screening  tool. All  the offices  statewide  have been  supplied                                                               
with  the  screening  tool  and  while  the  regulations  are  in                                                               
process, they have come up  with standard procedural processes to                                                               
use  the tool  and monitor  people at  different levels  of risk.                                                               
Steps are  taken to ensure  the monitoring is sufficient  so that                                                               
people are processing through the system as intended.                                                                           
He said  there have been  follow up  calls with the  ASAP offices                                                               
around  the state  to make  sure  that people  are following  the                                                               
procedures.   They  also   answer  many   questions  about   this                                                               
relatively  new process.  They are  also working  with their  MIS                                                               
system to ensure  that element is included in the  system so they                                                               
have continued  quality improvement and  look at outcomes  as the                                                               
data starts to come in. As  of January, people coming through are                                                               
being screened  and monitored. Changes  are still being  made and                                                               
work on  the regulations  is ongoing. Hopefully  they will  be in                                                               
good draft form in the next several months.                                                                                     
CHAIR COGHILL  suggested he keep  in mind  that at the  same time                                                               
the regulation packet is going  out there will be questions about                                                               
whether that  was the right thing  to ask you to  do. He extended                                                               
his thanks  to everyone who works  in the ASAP program.  "I think                                                               
Alaska depends on you in so many ways."                                                                                         
2:47:26 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF  JESSEE, Legislative  Liaison,  Alaska  Mental Health  Trust                                                               
Authority  ("Trust"), Department  of Revenue,  said he  wanted to                                                               
talk  about two  things  related to  implementation.  One is  the                                                               
progress that's been  made at the University  of Alaska Anchorage                                                               
(UAA)  Justice   Information  Center  ("Justice   Center").  Last                                                               
session  the Trust  engaged the  Justice  Center to  look at  the                                                               
Results First  initiative and partnered  with the  legislature to                                                               
get things started. He reviewed  the following data: there are 52                                                               
criminal  justice-related  programs  that deal  with  recidivism;                                                               
just  58  percent  match with  evidence-based  practices  in  the                                                               
literature;  65 percent  of those  52 programs  are state  funded                                                               
with $23 million;  89 percent of the  state-funded programs match                                                               
evidence-based  practices. Responding  to  a  comment, he  agreed                                                               
that  is very  good  news.  The task  going  forward  will be  to                                                               
monitor  the  fidelity  of  those  programs  and  look  at  their                                                               
outcomes.  "The  point of  this  is  [that] this  entire  justice                                                               
reinvestment  and reform  movement  has to  be data-driven."  The                                                               
next step  for the  Justice Center is  to start  the cost-benefit                                                               
analysis for  each of  these programs.  As resources  become more                                                               
limited, it's  important to identify  the programs that  give the                                                               
most bang for the buck.                                                                                                         
He said  the Trust  has only recommended  two small  general fund                                                               
increments and  has agreed to match  funding for both. One  is to                                                               
increase funding  to the Justice Center  so it can take  the step                                                               
to become an integrated data  platform for criminal justice data.                                                               
The  idea is  to  gather data  from the  different  parts of  the                                                               
system and  analyze it in order  to provide feedback. He  said he                                                               
likes working with the Justice  Center because it is important to                                                               
maximize the utility of the university  system. It has to be part                                                               
of helping to solve the fiscal and programmatic challenges.                                                                     
MR. JESSEE said  the second issue is reinvestment,  but that term                                                               
isn't very  accurate in the  early years because the  savings the                                                               
state will see from Senate Bill  91 are not happening today. They                                                               
are deferred. That means the state  has to come up with resources                                                               
to front-load these  efforts. If this isn't done,  there won't be                                                               
any savings downstream. He noted  that Senator MacKinnon was very                                                               
creative  last   year  when   she  suggested   using  prospective                                                               
marijuana  tax  money to  jump  start  some  of this  effort.  He                                                               
emphasized  the importance  of building  up resources  to provide                                                               
people  coming out  of prison  with the  services they  need. The                                                               
three basics  are housing, employment, and  treatment and support                                                               
for recovery.                                                                                                                   
He agreed with Ms. Casto that  Senate Bill 74 and Medicaid reform                                                               
is critical to  the criminal justice reform effort.  He said it's                                                               
important to leverage  federal funds, although he  expects to see                                                               
less  with the  new administration.  The positive  side is  there                                                               
will likely be less regulation.                                                                                                 
CHAIR COGHILL thanked Mr. Jessee and stated agreement with the                                                                  
notion that justice reinvestment and reform movement has to be                                                                  
2:58:36 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Coghill adjourned the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee                                                                 
meeting at 2:58 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
ACJC ASAP Recommendation.pdf SJUD 1/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
ACJC SNAP Recommendation.pdf SJUD 1/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
Court System Implementation Backup.PDF SJUD 1/27/2017 1:30:00 PM
SB 91 Fiscal Note Summary.pdf SJUD 1/27/2017 1:30:00 PM