Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

10/24/2017 10:30 AM JUDICIARY

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
10:32:07 AM Start
12:20:26 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Joint with Senate Finance Committee TELECONFERENCED
Crime and Justice Policy Review
                 ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                       
                  FOURTH SPECIAL SESSION                                                                                        
                       JOINT MEETING                                                                                            
            SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     October 24, 2017                                                                                           
                        10:32 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:32:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill called the Senate Finance Committee meeting                                                                       
to order at 10:32 a.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Lyman Hoffman, Co-Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Anna MacKinnon, Co-Chair (via teleconference)                                                                           
Senator Click Bishop, Vice-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Dean  Williams,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Corrections;                                                                    
Nancy Meade,  General Counsel, Alaska Court  System. Senator                                                                    
Kevin  Meyer;  Senator  David Wilson;  Senator  Tom  Begich;                                                                    
Senator Cathy Giessel; Senator Dennis Egan.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Randall  Burns,  Director,  Division of  Behavioral  Health,                                                                    
Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services;  Andy  Jones,                                                                    
Chief,  Rural  and  Community Health  Systems,  Division  of                                                                    
Public  Health, Department  of Health  and Social  Services;                                                                    
Gennifer  Moreau-Johnson, Behavioral  Health Policy  Advisor                                                                    
Commissioner's  Office,  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                                    
Services;   Quinlan  Steiner,   Director,  Public   Defender                                                                    
Agency, Department of Administration.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION: CRIME and JUSTICE POLICY REVIEW                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:33:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill  reviewed the meeting agenda.  He communicated                                                                    
that part of the process  was to review the criminal justice                                                                    
reform issues  that came  about in  SB 91  [criminal justice                                                                    
reform  legislation passed  in 2016]  including things  that                                                                    
were  working, things  that were  underway, and  things that                                                                    
could be done  better. The idea was to  determine whether SB
54 would answer some of  the concerns. He detailed that most                                                                    
of the effort had occurred  in the Department of Corrections                                                                    
(DOC).   He  shared   that   Dean  Williams,   Commissioner,                                                                    
Department of Corrections would  address what the department                                                                    
was  required to  do and  items  that were  in process.  The                                                                    
committees  would  also explore  what  the  cost or  benefit                                                                    
would  be  to  the  state   if  the  legislature  undid  the                                                                    
requirements. The same considerations  would be made for the                                                                    
Court  System  and  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                                    
Services. The  goal was  to get the  information out  to the                                                                    
public and legislators who may have questions or concerns.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill asked  Commissioner Williams  to detail  what                                                                    
had been required  of DOC, the status, what  would happen if                                                                    
the requirements changed  (e.g. in a full  repeal), what the                                                                    
benefits  of  SB 54  would  be,  and benefits  ranging  from                                                                    
pretrial to post-incarceration.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:35:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEAN  WILLIAMS,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS,                                                                    
addressed  the status  of the  department's response  to the                                                                    
passage of SB  91. He highlighted that DOC had  made some of                                                                    
the  important changes  that were  required in  one-third of                                                                    
the bill  regarding probation  and supervision.  The process                                                                    
had been concluded, was in  policy, and regulations had been                                                                    
written.   He  identified   the  new   Pretrial  Enforcement                                                                    
Division as one of the  bill's large reform components (one-                                                                    
third  of the  bill) that  would be  implemented in  January                                                                    
[2018].  The department  was currently  in "full  tilt mode"                                                                    
with the hiring  and training of pretrial  officers. Most of                                                                    
the probation  officers/enforcement officers would  be armed                                                                    
and  had arrest  capabilities  for people  in pretrial.  The                                                                    
focus of  the pretrial enforcement  effort was to  deal with                                                                    
people based on risk, not  on ability to pay. The department                                                                    
had developed an assessment tool  that would enable pretrial                                                                    
enforcement decisions to be made  based on the risk a person                                                                    
presented  to the  public versus  their ability  to get  out                                                                    
because they had more cash than  a poor person. The tool had                                                                    
been developed in conjunction with  numerous partners in law                                                                    
enforcement  and other  areas and  would be  piloted in  the                                                                    
coming month  or two. He  considered the  area to be  one of                                                                    
the fundamental components of the overall process.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:38:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  discussed  the  importance  of  pre-                                                                    
release   planning.  Some   of  the   work  had   been  done                                                                    
previously, but one  of the most important  things DOC could                                                                    
do  for  inmates was  to  ensure  they had  plan,  including                                                                    
employment and  housing. He added  that the  recidivism rate                                                                    
had been between  65 and 70 percent for almost  20 years. He                                                                    
underscored  that   the  issue  was  about   recidivism  and                                                                    
reoffence  rates; any  positive  impact on  the rates  would                                                                    
increase public safety. His job  as commissioner was to make                                                                    
sure the  department was  bending the  curve and  trying new                                                                    
strategies. He  mentioned work  with seafood  processors and                                                                    
efforts to improve work inside  the prison system, which was                                                                    
a major  focus. He stated  that "idle hands are  the devil's                                                                    
workshop." He  stressed the importance of  having productive                                                                    
activities.  He   elaborated  that   in  other   states  and                                                                    
countries the recidivism rate  decreased when inmates worked                                                                    
on  productive  activities.  He furthered  that  there  were                                                                    
well-researched  and  experienced  places ahead  of  Alaska,                                                                    
which was the direction he was aiming for.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  addressed   what  he  thought  would                                                                    
happen  if the  state  did not  make some  of  the fixes  he                                                                    
believed were  necessary. He asserted  that he was  a strong                                                                    
proponent  of  SB  54,  which   made  necessary  tweaks  and                                                                    
provided some discretion back. He  remarked that when such a                                                                    
large  shift was  made, there  were things  that may  not be                                                                    
right the first time; however,  it was important to stay the                                                                    
course. He stated that reversing  course would be a disaster                                                                    
for DOC  alone. The department was  responsible for standing                                                                    
up  one  of the  most  important  parts  of the  effort.  He                                                                    
discussed the importance of  making sensible decisions based                                                                    
on risk assessment,  not on a person's ability  to pay bail.                                                                    
He discussed  the danger  of low-level  criminals consorting                                                                    
with  more  major  offenders, and  the  subsequent  negative                                                                    
influence.  He stressed  that making  sensible decisions  on                                                                    
who  the state  imprisoned  was critical.  He believed  some                                                                    
individuals  needed  to  be   in  prison;  however,  getting                                                                    
smarter  about  the  issue  as other  states  had  done  was                                                                    
paramount.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams stressed that  he was working to stand                                                                    
up an  entire division, which  was probably one of  the most                                                                    
important things  to occur in  the department's  history. He                                                                    
stressed the  need for steadiness  in the process  where the                                                                    
department was  asking people  to do  a job,  training them,                                                                    
and  arming  them.  He  shared that  he  had  people  asking                                                                    
whether  they  would   have  a  job  in   the  division.  He                                                                    
characterized the  situation as tenuous and  underscored the                                                                    
need  for   calm  waters   and  thoughtful   discussion.  He                                                                    
recommended proceeding  with due diligence  while addressing                                                                    
parts  of the  reform  that did  not work.  He  vowed to  be                                                                    
candid on  areas that  were successful  and areas  that were                                                                    
not. He looked forward to  future work to improve the reform                                                                    
efforts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:42:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill appreciated  Commissioner Williams's statement                                                                    
that one of  the most important components  was pretrial. He                                                                    
specified   that  population   growth  had   accelerated  in                                                                    
pretrial misdemeanants over the  years. He explained that it                                                                    
would  be  a risk  assessment  tool  plus some  supervision,                                                                    
which was new  for DOC. He thought it would  be an important                                                                    
public safety issue  for the state. He  mentioned DOC's work                                                                    
on probation  and parole risk assessment  and accounting for                                                                    
"good time" that had been set  out in SB 91. He thought that                                                                    
it  would  create accountability  and  would  give people  a                                                                    
chance   to  succeed   post-incarceration.   He  asked   for                                                                    
confirmation that  the work had  been underway for  seven to                                                                    
ten months.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams agreed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill asked  if the  work had  been successful  and                                                                    
whether   there    were   things   that    required   better                                                                    
understanding.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams  replied that he believed  it had been                                                                    
successful.  He  stated that  like  any  change, there  were                                                                    
mixed reviews from DOC staff  on the success - some believed                                                                    
it  was  very successful  and  others  thought it  was  less                                                                    
successful. They  were still  in the  process of  change. He                                                                    
mentioned that  part of the  supervision strategy  was about                                                                    
providing incentives. Part of  SB 91 provided incentives and                                                                    
a good  time structure. For  example, if two people  were on                                                                    
probation for the  same amount of time,  the person behaving                                                                    
well should  receive good time  for that behavior.  The bill                                                                    
had  set  some  parameters   and  structures  in  place  and                                                                    
appropriately  restrained the  department in  the matter  of                                                                    
parole revocation.  He explained  that a  person's probation                                                                    
should not be  revoked because of a  technical violation. He                                                                    
detailed that  suspended time could  be revoked  after three                                                                    
strikes.  He believed  it recreated  restraint. The  biggest                                                                    
growth in in the prison growth population was in pretrial.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  informed   the  committee  that  the                                                                    
second  largest  growth  in the  prison  population  was  in                                                                    
probation violations.  He detailed  that it did  not involve                                                                    
people  convicted  of  new crimes,  but  people  who  missed                                                                    
appointments (e.g.  did not meet their  probation officer or                                                                    
did not  follow through with something  else). He recognized                                                                    
that  it was  still important  to enforce  the requirements,                                                                    
but  not  only  by  sending  a person  back  to  prison.  He                                                                    
believed there  should be some restraint  on the department.                                                                    
He thought  the policies  [designated in  SB 91]  were smart                                                                    
and  needed  time  to  work   out,  with  the  intention  of                                                                    
revisiting them later if revision was needed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:46:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill remarked  that the  department  had closed  a                                                                    
prison  and prison  population had  changed.  He asked  what                                                                    
Commissioner Williams attributed that change to.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams discussed  that  some  would say  the                                                                    
department  had  closed a  prison  prematurely,  but he  had                                                                    
wanted to  get ahead of  it. He had received  some criticism                                                                    
for the  closure. He detailed that  as the bill [SB  91] had                                                                    
been about to pass, the  department had observed that it the                                                                    
prison   system   had   capacity  already   and   with   the                                                                    
anticipation  the population  numbers would  continue to  be                                                                    
tamped down, he had closed a  prison ahead of time. He could                                                                    
have held  off, but  he had  decided to  act because  it was                                                                    
plausible and  cost-effective. He stated that  prison counts                                                                    
had been  declining. He stressed  that prison  reduction had                                                                    
to get  to a particular  place until there was  something to                                                                    
close. The decline had to be  in the 20 percent range before                                                                    
a  prison could  be closed.  He  noted that  he could  close                                                                    
"mods" (prison housing units) depending on their location.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams relayed  that  the initial  reduction                                                                    
had provided  breathing room to save  money and redistribute                                                                    
staff  to   facilities  that  were   "bleeding";  particular                                                                    
facilities  were   still  bleeding,   but  not  as   bad  as                                                                    
previously. There  were still  significant problems  in that                                                                    
area.  The  knowledge  that   the  legislation  would  bring                                                                    
further reductions in prison population  gave comfort in the                                                                    
decision to close a prison. He  thought it would have been a                                                                    
foolish step to  close a prison that would be  needed in the                                                                    
near-term  because it  took  time and  training  to ramp  up                                                                    
prisons.  There were  also  vulnerabilities  in opening  new                                                                    
prisons and it was necessary to be very careful.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:48:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill  stated that a  big chunk of  reinvestment had                                                                    
gone  into  pretrial  and another  chunk  had  gone  towards                                                                    
programming in  DOC facilities. He  asked for detail  on the                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams stated that  the department had used a                                                                    
big  chunk  of  the  savings   to  roll  into  the  pretrial                                                                    
enforcement  effort. He  specified  that about  half of  the                                                                    
savings (approximately  $5 million)  had been used  to stand                                                                    
up the pretrial enforcement effort.  For the other half, the                                                                    
department had dipped into savings.  He had used some of the                                                                    
positions that had been reallocated  to bring down over time                                                                    
elsewhere in other facilities. He  explained that some money                                                                    
had been  saved there as well  - probably in the  millions -                                                                    
in terms of overtime.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams listed  three  components to  closing                                                                    
the prison:  1) staying in  a pretrial; 2) saving  of money;                                                                    
and  3) redistributing  some of  the PCNs  [position control                                                                    
numbers] to bring down overtime  and increase safety in some                                                                    
of the other facilities.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:50:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill  asked if new  programs that were  intended to                                                                    
be inside the jail system were going well.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  replied  that there  had  been  some                                                                    
problems  with  some of  the  contractors  in terms  of  the                                                                    
substance abuse  treatment, but there were  other pieces the                                                                    
department was  doing. One  of the  major components  he had                                                                    
used  funding  on was  the  implementation  of the  Vivitrol                                                                    
Behind the Walls Program. He  detailed the department was on                                                                    
the  front end  of  the  issue; it  represented  one of  the                                                                    
promising  strategies   he  needed   time  to   develop.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that  about 65  or  70  people had  started  the                                                                    
program.   He  emphasized   the   importance  of   accessing                                                                    
reinvestment funds  for similar programs, especially  due to                                                                    
the opioid crisis.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:51:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche referred  to Commissioner Williams comments                                                                    
about "moving backward." He asserted  that the safety of the                                                                    
law-abiding  citizens   should  come  first.  He   spoke  to                                                                    
increased  crime beginning  around  2011,  which had  become                                                                    
steeper  recently. He  highlighted  car thefts,  burglaries,                                                                    
and  petty thefts.  He wondered  why there  should not  be a                                                                    
repeal [of SB  91]. He asked why not repealing  was best for                                                                    
Alaska  and how  Commissioner  Williams  could convince  him                                                                    
that the direction forward would  reduce recidivism and make                                                                    
Alaska a safer place.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams  replied that  it was necessary  to be                                                                    
targeted on the issue that  needed fixing. For example, if a                                                                    
patient  was   sick  they  were   not  treated   with  every                                                                    
antibiotic on the  shelf. He stated that SB  54 allowed some                                                                    
of the  discretion that perhaps  should not have  been taken                                                                    
out [by  SB 91] and provided  some of the remedies  for what                                                                    
the  department wanted  to go  after and  other remedies  to                                                                    
deal  with  low level  offenders  bedeviling  the state.  He                                                                    
underscored that  containing those offenders for  a time was                                                                    
productive, but  it did not  tell the state what  they would                                                                    
do with the  individuals. There were fixes in SB  54 that he                                                                    
was in  favor of; however,  he worried about  abandoning the                                                                    
greater good because  of some issues. He  was not supportive                                                                    
of a full repeal.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams remarked  on a premise that  SB 91 had                                                                    
been a mistake. He questioned  what the state would be going                                                                    
back to [if a repeal  was passed]. He shared that recidivism                                                                    
rates  had been  65 to  70 percent  for the  past 20  years,                                                                    
which he  characterized as a disaster  and unacceptable. His                                                                    
goal  was to  reduce the  prison population  in order  to go                                                                    
after the  people representing the  most risk to  the state.                                                                    
He wanted breathing  room to go after  those individuals. He                                                                    
thought it  would be disastrous  to DOC to  undo regulations                                                                    
and  policy  and stand  down  60  positions  he was  in  the                                                                    
process of  bringing on.  He would  be supportive  if public                                                                    
safety was improved.  He advised the necessity  of coming to                                                                    
a common  understanding "of why  we think we're here  in the                                                                    
first place."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Williams   highlighted  major   reasons   for                                                                    
criminal justice reform including  the rampant opioid crisis                                                                    
facing the country and a  recent increase in property crimes                                                                    
in Alaska. He stressed that the  onus was on him as the head                                                                    
of DOC.  He explained that 11,000  individuals were released                                                                    
from prison in one year  and 5,000 of those individuals were                                                                    
guaranteed to  be in jail for  a new crime within  the first                                                                    
six months.  He underscored that those  were the individuals                                                                    
who were breaking  into homes and vehicles  because they had                                                                    
no job  or home. He  clarified he  was not suggesting  a do-                                                                    
gooder  activity.   He  emphasized  the  need   to  get  the                                                                    
individuals  in  positions to  work  and  be productive.  He                                                                    
recognized  there were  some individuals  who would  not get                                                                    
it.  He  cautioned  a  guided   and  studied  approach  when                                                                    
considering the path forward.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:55:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche asked if the  department was undertaking an                                                                    
experiment or  if there were  examples in other  states that                                                                    
had resulted  in a  lower recidivism  rate and  reduction in                                                                    
crime.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams replied  that approximately  25 other                                                                    
states  had  done  pretrial enforcement.  He  noted  he  had                                                                    
studied the  information early in  his tenure  to understand                                                                    
what he  was getting  himself into in  the job.  He detailed                                                                    
that the  states had passed  similar legislation  doing risk                                                                    
assessments  and monitoring  based  on risk,  as opposed  to                                                                    
monitoring  based on  bail. In  those other  states, between                                                                    
the time  of a person's  arrest and the resolution  of their                                                                    
court date,  their court  appearance rates  had gone  up and                                                                    
the crime rate between the  time they were arrested and went                                                                    
to trial had gone down.  He was hopeful for pretrial because                                                                    
it improved public safety in that area.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams  addressed the second part  of Senator                                                                    
Micciche's  question about  whether  other  states had  done                                                                    
justice reform  and become smarter in  recidivism rates. For                                                                    
example,  Wyoming   was  the  only  state   with  a  smaller                                                                    
population  than  Alaska;  it  also  had  a  smaller  prison                                                                    
population and a  recidivism rate of 35 percent.  He did not                                                                    
know whether  the low  rate was due  to justice  reform, but                                                                    
there  was   a  focus  on  social   justice  and  productive                                                                    
activities within the  prisons. He remarked that  it was not                                                                    
only Norway [focusing on  those items]. Wyoming's recidivism                                                                    
rate was about half of Alaska's.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams  believed there were things  to learn;                                                                    
he noted  it increased  public safety. It  was hard  to know                                                                    
whether  the reform  in Alaska  would  work the  way it  was                                                                    
intended  in other  states; however,  many other  states had                                                                    
tried  the reform  and had  achieved  positive results  with                                                                    
decreased  prison  populations.   He  referenced  Texas  and                                                                    
Georgia as  examples. He stressed  it was not  an experiment                                                                    
and had  been well researched.  He thought it  was necessary                                                                    
to keep  an open mind, but  to learn from the  experience of                                                                    
other states.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:58:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Bishop  concurred   that  employment   and  job                                                                    
training was extremely important.  He mentioned the value of                                                                    
a  good education,  which began  in  school and  transferred                                                                    
into  prison  for inmates  stuck  at  a third-grade  reading                                                                    
level.  He   stated  they  needed  to   continue  with  that                                                                    
education  model.  He  believed  Commissioner  Williams  was                                                                    
correct  - January  1  was an  important  upcoming date.  He                                                                    
referenced  the  risk  assessment  tool  and  asked  if  the                                                                    
department  had received  100 percent  buy-in regarding  the                                                                    
pretrial  assessment tool  and  allowing a  person to  await                                                                    
their  pretrial   date  outside  of  prison.   Secondly,  he                                                                    
remarked on the 60 new  department positions who were asking                                                                    
Commissioner  Williams whether  they  would have  a job.  He                                                                    
observed  that it  was possible  to  have a  good plan,  but                                                                    
without  people  to execute  and  believe  in the  plan  and                                                                    
following  the team  lead,  it would  fail.  He was  leaning                                                                    
towards continuity.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Williams   appreciated  Vice-Chair   Bishop's                                                                    
comments.  He agreed  it  was necessary  to  have the  right                                                                    
people. He  believed in the  pretrial enforcement  model. He                                                                    
had  researched the  matter carefully  in  other states.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that  he had  travelled  to  Kentucky where  the                                                                    
model had been used for  15 years. He elucidated that Alaska                                                                    
was not doing  anything different - it was  merely trying to                                                                    
start  what Kentucky  had started.  He stated  that starting                                                                    
justice reform was  difficult, but it was  necessary to stay                                                                    
the course.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill remarked that the  department was working on a                                                                    
deadline coming up in the next several of weeks.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams agreed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bishop remarked  that  the  department would  be                                                                    
under  the  microscope and  he  would  be as  supportive  as                                                                    
possible. He  thought due diligence in  pretrial assessments                                                                    
was  essential to  ensure individuals  did not  slip through                                                                    
the cracks  and become repeat offenders  during the pretrial                                                                    
phase.  He  thought  preventing  individuals  from  becoming                                                                    
repeat  offenders   during  pretrial  would   contribute  to                                                                    
success going forward.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:01:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator von Imhof referred to  the department's closure of a                                                                    
prison,  and   to  Commissioner  Williams's  mention   of  a                                                                    
pretrial  backlog. She  remarked  that there  was much  talk                                                                    
about criminal activity taking place  in Anchorage and other                                                                    
locations.  She  concluded  there   could  be  a  bubble  of                                                                    
potential inmates  moving through  the system  in a  year or                                                                    
two with  the passage of  SB 54  and providing the  tools to                                                                    
prosecutors to  hold and  evaluate potential  prisoners. She                                                                    
asked how the  system would hold, house, and  contain such a                                                                    
bubble in the near-term.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams thought that  the concern would be met                                                                    
with  what  happened  when   an  objectified  standard  risk                                                                    
assessment. He  discussed failure to appear  in court, which                                                                    
was an important data point  in assessments. The goal was to                                                                    
separate the  wheat from  the chaff.  He likened  the people                                                                    
who showed  up for court appearances  and represented little                                                                    
risk (they had not been  in trouble previously) to wheat. He                                                                    
noted  that any  bubble that  existed  by virtue  of SB  54,                                                                    
there  would  still be  the  pretrial  enforcement tool  for                                                                    
people remanded  in custody to  determine quickly  whether a                                                                    
person should be kept in  custody. He relayed that currently                                                                    
troopers  and   DOC  transported   people  back   and  forth                                                                    
constantly. He explained that people  ended up in a contract                                                                    
jail where they remained for  a week, went to a correctional                                                                    
facility such  as Lemon Creek Correctional  Center, then had                                                                    
to  go back  to court,  and may  be released  three or  four                                                                    
weeks later. He emphasized  the importance of deciding early                                                                    
on during that  three to four-week period  if the individual                                                                    
would get  out or remain  in custody. The  situation avoided                                                                    
the  bail review  - the  option  was still  available for  a                                                                    
judge to consider, but the  whole point was making decisions                                                                    
early on.  He stated that if  there were a bubble  or people                                                                    
coming back  through, he  was less  worried about  the issue                                                                    
because there was  a process of analyzing  the situation and                                                                    
making a decision early on.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:04:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von Imhof  understood the  need for  early decision                                                                    
making  in terms  of transportation  and other  factors. She                                                                    
shared that she had heard  from constituents who were hoping                                                                    
for more  arrests of  the individuals  Commissioner Williams                                                                    
had described as bedeviling  communities and perhaps holding                                                                    
them  longer.  She  believed people  wanted  car  and  petty                                                                    
thieves off  the streets to  relieve some of the  stress and                                                                    
anxiety going on in neighborhoods.  She asked if SB 54 would                                                                    
give  the  tools  and  space  to  process  people  who  were                                                                    
"terrorizing" the state's communities.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  answered   in  the  affirmative.  He                                                                    
considered that his job as  commissioner was to think beyond                                                                    
whether someone was held for a  week, a month, or a year. At                                                                    
some time, 95 percent of  the individuals in prison would be                                                                    
released.  His  job   was  to  help  reduce   the  risk  for                                                                    
residents. He  cared very much  about SB 54 and  putting the                                                                    
tools back  in the  tool chest. He  was looking  for longer-                                                                    
term  solutions but  acknowledged the  importance of  short-                                                                    
term  solutions as  well.  He supported  fixing  the law  to                                                                    
provide  more discretion.  He stated  that even  car thieves                                                                    
would be released from prison  eventually - they may get out                                                                    
in  a week  or  in a  year.  He could  not  change the  past                                                                    
victims  or past  crimes,  but he  could  impact the  future                                                                    
victims.  He defined  recidivism as  the reoffence  rate and                                                                    
public  safety. He  believed the  pretrial  effort was  more                                                                    
successful at  putting the right  people in prison  than the                                                                    
current system.  He elaborated that  it resulted  in putting                                                                    
the right people  in prison faster and kept  them in faster,                                                                    
whereas it kept the individuals  who should not be in prison                                                                    
out  faster (before  they  lost their  job  and housing  and                                                                    
became a social welfare burden on the state).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:07:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Wielechowski  remarked  that much  of  the  state's                                                                    
recent  criminal justice  efforts  had  been geared  towards                                                                    
dealing with individuals after a  crime had occurred. He was                                                                    
interested  in root  causes  of  the rise  in  crime in  the                                                                    
state. He  queried the  reason for  the opioid  epidemic and                                                                    
increased theft.  He asked if  the department  was gathering                                                                    
intake  data from  prisoners to  determine what  was causing                                                                    
people  to turn  to crime  (e.g. economic  information, drug                                                                    
usage, educational  information, and other). He  wondered if                                                                    
it  was   possible  for  the  department   to  provide  such                                                                    
information  in  order  to  craft  data-driven  policies  to                                                                    
achieve crime reduction before it occurs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  was  not  sure  the  department  was                                                                    
gathering  the aforementioned  data  in a  standard way.  He                                                                    
highlighted that  DOC was conducting  a Vivitrol  study with                                                                    
the   University  of   Fairbanks  that   included  comparing                                                                    
individuals  using Vivitrol  versus those  who were  not. He                                                                    
believed  the  study  would   provide  some  background.  He                                                                    
discussed  working with  other  states  to gain  information                                                                    
about  their   experience  with  the  opioid   epidemic.  He                                                                    
recalled traveling to  Barnstable County, Massachusetts that                                                                    
has a  population of about  1.1 million. He had  spoken with                                                                    
the  sheriff's department  and had  learned  the county  had                                                                    
been  dealing with  the issue  for a  while. The  county was                                                                    
making progress on how to deal with heroin addicts.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  was  uncertain  the  department  was                                                                    
gathering  the data  Senator  Wielechowski  was asking  for.                                                                    
However,  he  invited the  senator  to  come talk  with  ten                                                                    
heroin  addicts  to ask  how  they  had become  addicts.  He                                                                    
detailed  that  for many  of  the  individuals, becoming  an                                                                    
addict had  not been in their  career path. He spoke  to the                                                                    
importance of  passed legislation and work  underway to gain                                                                    
control of  opioids. There were some  strategies employed by                                                                    
other  states,  which  he  intended as  the  next  step.  He                                                                    
mentioned collaborating  with the  governor's office  to get                                                                    
people   together   to   address  strategies.   There   were                                                                    
strategies used by  other states that he saw  as the future.                                                                    
The strategies could  improve the problem but  would not fix                                                                    
it entirely.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:11:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill shared  that the  University  and the  Alaska                                                                    
Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC)  were looking at whatever                                                                    
data  they could  gather.  Probably for  the  first time  in                                                                    
Alaska's history,  a deep  data dive  had been  conducted on                                                                    
what  was  taking  place in  the  corrections  and  criminal                                                                    
justice systems. The state was  embarking on the journey and                                                                    
he saw  the University  as a  large contributor  to research                                                                    
efforts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  asked if  the commissioner  thought it                                                                    
would be beneficial to have  a screening and data collection                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams replied  that it was a  great idea. He                                                                    
agreed the  processes would  be beneficial,  but he  did not                                                                    
have a clear picture of what that would look like yet.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:12:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Stevens appreciated  comments about  the importance                                                                    
of  education  and job  training  and  how the  items  could                                                                    
impact  recidivism.  He  stated   that  40  percent  of  his                                                                    
community  worked  in  the  fishing   industry  and  he  was                                                                    
concerned about  displacement. He  shared that in  the 1970s                                                                    
he  had  purchased  furniture from  the  Seward  Prison.  He                                                                    
stated it  was great  furniture, but  the facility  had been                                                                    
closed.  He   noted  there  had  been   criticism  that  the                                                                    
furniture  was   competing  with  private   furniture  sales                                                                    
businesses.  He  wondered  how  to  train  people,  but  not                                                                    
displace people who already have  jobs and without competing                                                                    
against established businesses and industries.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams  thought  that  Senator  Stevens  had                                                                    
touched  on a  very important  point. He  referenced seafood                                                                    
processors  hiring people  from overseas  and they  had lost                                                                    
some  discretion  they  had  through  the  J-1  program.  He                                                                    
acknowledged  they   would  have   a  harder   time  getting                                                                    
employees.  He  emphasized  that  the prison  would  not  be                                                                    
displacing anyone  from seafood  processing. He  stated that                                                                    
he  had  recently  met with  processors  in  Dillingham  and                                                                    
Bristol Bay.  He stressed that  the processors hired  400 to                                                                    
500 people. He was looking for  a pilot project to put 10 to                                                                    
30 inmates  on one  floor out  there. The  idea was  for the                                                                    
individuals  to earn  minimum  wage,  receive overtime,  and                                                                    
serve  out their  sentence under  the department's  guidance                                                                    
and supervision.  He stressed  that it  was the  future. The                                                                    
food  processing  idea  was   a  significant  and  promising                                                                    
strategy. He would be meeting  with individuals from Trident                                                                    
Seafoods in  a couple of  weeks. He  believed it was  one of                                                                    
the  best   things  going  in  terms   of  a  public/private                                                                    
partnership.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams   addressed  prison   industries  not                                                                    
competing with private companies. He  wanted to get over the                                                                    
way  prison industry  had been  done in  the past.  He noted                                                                    
there was  current legislation on the  topic. He underscored                                                                    
the  importance of  doing prison  industries  the right  way                                                                    
like other all other states  if the legislature wanted to do                                                                    
something for public  safety, help DOC run  a prison system,                                                                    
and  do something  about the  terrible recidivism  rate that                                                                    
had been consistent for 20  years. He stressed that it would                                                                    
save the state money. Additionally,  there were ways to make                                                                    
the changes  without competing  with private  industries. He                                                                    
stressed that  in addition  to pretrial,  it was  the second                                                                    
thing he  was advocating  for. He  asked the  legislature to                                                                    
get the legislation passed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams  wanted to  make sensible  changes and                                                                    
recommended  including a  sunset  clause to  review how  the                                                                    
changes  worked. He  advised shutting  the  changes down  if                                                                    
they  resulted  in  putting  someone  out  of  business.  He                                                                    
emphasized the importance of changing  the system behind the                                                                    
walls. He highlighted that the  systems in Norway and Sweden                                                                    
focused  constructive activities  - whether  a person  had a                                                                    
job.  The ethos  of  their  systems was  for  inmates to  be                                                                    
productive  and to  work and  not merely  sit in  prison. He                                                                    
stated the items  really mattered in terms  of public safety                                                                    
because  eventually inmates  were released  from prison.  He                                                                    
characterized the  changes as  taking the  next bite  of the                                                                    
apple to make a long-term difference.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:16:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Dunleavy   believed  Commissioner   Williams   had                                                                    
mentioned  there were  issues  with  a contracted  substance                                                                    
abuse treatment provider. He noted  it was his understanding                                                                    
that DOC was  ending the contract on December  16 [2017]. He                                                                    
asked what the department had  done to provide treatment for                                                                    
inmates across the state.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams  confirmed that he had  a problem with                                                                    
the  contract. There  was  a  new person  in  charge of  the                                                                    
contract and  he would  be meeting with  them in  the coming                                                                    
weeks.  Some  of  the  contracts  were  back  in  place.  He                                                                    
believed  in   the  value  of  substance   abuse  and  other                                                                    
treatment   programming  in   prisons.   He  also   believed                                                                    
productive activities  for inmates was good.  He shared that                                                                    
most  of his  career  was in  juvenile  corrections and  the                                                                    
department provided  a significant  amount of money  in this                                                                    
area. However,  when he spoke about  constructive activities                                                                    
and  reducing idle  time where  people  were sitting  around                                                                    
with nothing to  do, the importance of  changing the culture                                                                    
inside and making facilities safer  was huge for inmates and                                                                    
staff.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams detailed that  the department had made                                                                    
steps to review how contracts  were done. He explained there                                                                    
had been one massive contract  with one company; when it had                                                                    
gone  bad,   everything  it  contained  had   gone  bad.  He                                                                    
furthered that it  had been a bad system  and the contractor                                                                    
had agreed  it should not have  been set up the  way it was.                                                                    
He noted the contract had  been determined prior to his work                                                                    
with the department. He thought  that the prison should have                                                                    
small  individual  contracts  with   each  community  to  do                                                                    
activities  in prison.  He believed  in treatment  programs,                                                                    
but his priority  was focusing on productive  time and jobs.                                                                    
He  was  reconstructing  the smaller  contracts  to  smaller                                                                    
contracts  on substance  abuse; he  believed they  would get                                                                    
back on track.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:19:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy asked if it was  safe to say that there was                                                                    
not a  systematic approach,  but that  Commissioner Williams                                                                    
was working on it.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Williams   replied    that   he   would   not                                                                    
characterize  the  situation  as   one  with  no  systematic                                                                    
approach.  He  stated  that the  department  had  functional                                                                    
contracts  in certain  locations; however,  there were  some                                                                    
prisons that did not have functional contracts.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator   Dunleavy  surmised   "it   was   not  there   yet"                                                                    
systemwide. Commissioner Williams agreed.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  thought it was  no secret that  there were                                                                    
illicit  drugs in  the state's  prisons  causing issues.  He                                                                    
asked  for  detail  on  what was  occurring.  There  was  an                                                                    
assumption  that once  a  person went  to  prison they  were                                                                    
detached from  the world of  drugs and crime;  however, that                                                                    
may not necessarily be the case.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner  Williams agreed  and elaborated  that in  many                                                                    
cases  inmates were  more attached  to crime  in prison.  He                                                                    
stressed that  it was a  misconception that inmates  did not                                                                    
have access  to drugs.  He stated  that it  was a  clue when                                                                    
people released from  prison were addicted. He  stated it no                                                                    
fault  of  the department's  staff,  who  had inherited  the                                                                    
current system.  There had been  no internal affairs  in the                                                                    
department when  he started. He  stressed the  importance of                                                                    
the issue because it started  to create deterrence among who                                                                    
was trafficking drugs inside. There  had not previously been                                                                    
a coordinated approach  to the problem, but  an approach had                                                                    
been   implemented.   He   detailed  there   were   internal                                                                    
investigators,   and  partnerships   with   the  FBI,   DEA,                                                                    
troopers, and  the U.S. Attorney's Office.  The partners met                                                                    
monthly, had  strategies, and shared intelligence.  He noted                                                                    
it had  never occurred in  the past. He credited  others for                                                                    
great ideas that had been employed.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner   Williams   emphasized    the   necessity   of                                                                    
productive  activities  in  jail; without  those  activities                                                                    
people found  other things to  do. Productive time  and jobs                                                                    
mattered  because it  took away  the desire  for subcultures                                                                    
and sub-activities.  He furthered  that gangs started  to go                                                                    
down in working, functioning prison  systems. There was less                                                                    
trafficking  of   drugs  inside  prisons.  He   stated  that                                                                    
suboxone was "the  bane of our existence."  He detailed that                                                                    
the  substance was  highly concealable  and was  prevalently                                                                    
trafficked inside  prisons. He  was concerned about  the use                                                                    
of the drug  as an alternative treatment  for heroin because                                                                    
it was  a secondary  drug trafficked on  the streets  and in                                                                    
prisons at a high value.  He returned to a previous question                                                                    
by  Senator  Wielechowski  about   why  people  were  heroin                                                                    
addicts.  He  relayed  that many  heroin  addicts  were  now                                                                    
addicted  to suboxone.  He stressed  that deterrence  inside                                                                    
the  prison   system  mattered,  as  did   intelligence  and                                                                    
investigators. There were also  policy pieces related to how                                                                    
the problem was treated and  making sure a secondary problem                                                                    
was not created (e.g. suboxone).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:23:05 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy  appreciated the remarks. He  observed that                                                                    
frequently in  government there was not  a systemic approach                                                                    
to  eliminating problems.  He detailed  that turnover  and a                                                                    
lack  of   funding  interrupted   the  ability  to   have  a                                                                    
systematic approach. He thought there  was a drug culture in                                                                    
the  state's  prisons,  which ran  counter  to  the  general                                                                    
perception.  He asked  what the  department needed  from the                                                                    
legislature (when  developing its budget) that  in the ideal                                                                    
world  would  eliminate  the  problem  from  persisting.  He                                                                    
reasoned that the  average person would think  that having a                                                                    
similar drug  culture in prisons compared  to outside prison                                                                    
did not make sense.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill thought Commissioner  Williams had done a good                                                                    
job  reviewing work  in  progress  including pretrial,  post                                                                    
incarceration, issues in the state's  jails, and the benefit                                                                    
of  SB  54.  He  commented   on  the  broad  nature  of  the                                                                    
conversation. He  pointed out  that there  was not  a static                                                                    
prison population. He understood  the department did not get                                                                    
to select who showed up  in its prisons; the legislature was                                                                    
trying to give DOC the best  tools possible to deal with the                                                                    
population   and    reduce   recidivism.    He   appreciated                                                                    
Commissioner Williams's testimony.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner Williams thanked the committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill  reviewed  the  remaining  schedule  for  the                                                                    
meeting. He  observed that criminal justice  reform impacted                                                                    
the  Court System  because offenders  were brought  there by                                                                    
the police  and the system was  responsible for adjudicating                                                                    
the  individuals.  There had  been  court  rule changes  and                                                                    
methods  the Court  System had  to  employ. He  asked for  a                                                                    
summation of  the positive and negative  effects and changes                                                                    
of SB  91 from the  Court System's perspective.  He remarked                                                                    
that the courts  were typically neutral on  policy, but they                                                                    
did have  to deal with  the practical effects. He  asked for                                                                    
comments pertaining to SB 91 and SB 54.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:26:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
NANCY   MEADE,  GENERAL   COUNSEL,   ALASKA  COURT   SYSTEM,                                                                    
appreciated the  opportunity to explain  some of  the things                                                                    
the Court System had done with  respect to SB 91. During the                                                                    
past session  she had  gone through  some of  the additional                                                                    
trainings, forums the  Court System had created,  and a host                                                                    
of activities  undertaken by  judges and  the administrative                                                                    
office after the passage of  SB 91. She detailed that judges                                                                    
applied the laws passed by  the legislature, but they had to                                                                    
know  what the  laws were.  She elaborated  that due  to the                                                                    
large size  of the bill  there had been a  significant level                                                                    
of training had been required.  At present, two of the three                                                                    
bill  phases were  in effect.  Sentencing changes  from July                                                                    
12, 2016  had been  in effect and  were underway.  She noted                                                                    
that the  legislature had heard  a little about  and perhaps                                                                    
the  public was  not happy  with several  of those  changes,                                                                    
which would be  addressed by SB 54. The second  phase of the                                                                    
law related to  probation and parole had  impacted the Court                                                                    
System   because  changes   to  probationary   periods.  The                                                                    
implementation of parole  was under the purview  of DOC, but                                                                    
when  the court  sentenced someone  to probation  there were                                                                    
numerous things  that happened -  if a defendant did  not do                                                                    
well the court obtained petitions to revoke probation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade explained that SB  91 had established an incentive                                                                    
schedule and regulations and DOC  had created policies about                                                                    
how to come  back to the court to try  to incentivize people                                                                    
when they did not do what  was appropriate, to do better the                                                                    
next  time. As  a  result, initially  there  were many  more                                                                    
petitions to  revoke probation, but  due to SB 91  they were                                                                    
for  shorter periods  of  time in  the  hope the  defendants                                                                    
would correct their behavior  before being re-imprisoned for                                                                    
a  long time  or having  all their  suspended time  imposed.                                                                    
Consequently,  there   had  been  an  increased   number  of                                                                    
hearings,  but perhaps  an improvement  in outcomes  whereby                                                                    
people would  learn early on (with  shorter, definite prison                                                                    
times)  to  do  what  was right  when  out  on  probationary                                                                    
periods.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade  discussed that the third  phase of SB 91  had not                                                                    
gone into  effect. She noted  that as  Commissioner Williams                                                                    
had testified,  it was a  substantial impact on  everyone in                                                                    
the criminal justice system. The  changes to pretrial were a                                                                    
sea-change in how the work  would be done in January [2018].                                                                    
The  judges were  being trained  on the  changes extensively                                                                    
the next day. The bail statute  - the things a judge thought                                                                    
about when  deciding how  much bail  and what  conditions to                                                                    
impose,  was repealed  and  reenacted  into a  comprehensive                                                                    
document (6  to 8  pages) explaining how  the judge  makes a                                                                    
bail decision  under SB 91.  She furthered that  the process                                                                    
changes  took winnowing  and explaining  - the  Court System                                                                    
had created summary sheets and charts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade  furthered  that  the  work  was  being  done  in                                                                    
conjunction with  the new  Pretrial Services  Division under                                                                    
DOC.  The  division created  its  own  set  of forms  and  a                                                                    
pretrial [assessment] tool. She  noted that the judges would                                                                    
want  to know  about  the tool.  She  continued that  judges                                                                    
wanted and  always welcomed more information  in making bail                                                                    
decisions. She furthered that if  judges were going to get a                                                                    
risk assessment score from the  division, they would want to                                                                    
know what went  into the assessment and to be  able to trust                                                                    
it. She  noted that the  work was underway. She  stated that                                                                    
it  was interesting  times for  the  court to  adapt to  the                                                                    
changes; however,  more information  was always  better, and                                                                    
the judges wanted to make the best decision possible.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:30:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade stated  that it  had  all come  about during  the                                                                    
buildup with the ACJC and the  talk during the passage of SB
91. One  of the focuses  had been that the  state's pretrial                                                                    
population had  grown significantly, which meant  there were                                                                    
people in jail awaiting their  trial who were innocent until                                                                    
proven  guilty  and  perhaps  the   right  people  were  not                                                                    
incarcerated.  Therefore, getting  more information  about a                                                                    
person's  risk would  be  helpful. The  stated  goal was  to                                                                    
reduce  the  pretrial population  and  limit  the number  of                                                                    
people in jail to those who need to be there.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:31:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade segued  into the  statewide bail  schedule, which                                                                    
had done by the Court System.  She believed there had been a                                                                    
great deal  of misinformation  and misinterpretation  on the                                                                    
matter. She  clarified that for  decades the state  had bail                                                                    
schedules  that were  drafted and  promulgated by  presiding                                                                    
judges. In  the midst of  the discussion  on SB 91  in March                                                                    
2016, the presiding judges recognized  the new research done                                                                    
by  the ACJC  - the  fact that  the pretrial  population had                                                                    
risen  81 percent  over the  past 10  years, which  had been                                                                    
surprising to many  people in the criminal  justice system -                                                                    
and the  belief by the  legislature that too much  money was                                                                    
being spent on individuals in jail pretrial.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade relayed  that the presiding judges  had decided to                                                                    
look  at  bail schedules  and  had  made several  decisions.                                                                    
First, they had decided on  one statewide bail schedule. She                                                                    
believed there had been up  to eight schedules prior to that                                                                    
time  to take  different  cultural norms  into account.  The                                                                    
action meant  that the four  presiding judges would  have to                                                                    
agree on  what went  into the  bail schedule.  To compliment                                                                    
the work  of the commission  and the legislature  the judges                                                                    
thought  that  perhaps  more people  ought  to  be  released                                                                    
pretrial;  therefore, they  specified  larger categories  of                                                                    
people to be released pretrial.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade   communicated  that   the  change   caused  some                                                                    
consternation. She  clarified that  the changes did  not and                                                                    
would never apply  to felony arrests. For  example, a person                                                                    
arrested and brought to jail  for vehicle theft would not be                                                                    
released because of  the bail schedule; vehicle  theft was a                                                                    
Class C  felony if  it was over  $1,000, which  it typically                                                                    
was. She underscored that the  bail schedule only applied to                                                                    
misdemeanors. The  change did not apply  to crimes involving                                                                    
domestic  violence; anyone  arrested  for domestic  violence                                                                    
was held  to see  a judge the  following day.  She clarified                                                                    
that felony and domestic  violence arrests required seeing a                                                                    
judge.  The  change  to  the bail  schedule  allowed  a  law                                                                    
enforcement  officer to  arrest someone,  bring them  to the                                                                    
correctional facility, and before  that person was booked if                                                                    
their  offence was  of the  certain categories  in the  bail                                                                    
schedule, they could be released on their own recognizance.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:34:06 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade explained  that the Court System  had been working                                                                    
to ensure law  enforcement understood that in  any case, for                                                                    
any reason,  if law enforcement or  the correctional officer                                                                    
at the jail  did not like what the  bail schedule specified,                                                                    
they should call  a judicial officer to  have something else                                                                    
done. For  example, if the  bail schedule said to  release a                                                                    
person  on  their  own   recognizance  because  of  reckless                                                                    
driving, the  law enforcement officer could  call a judicial                                                                    
officer.  There were  judicial officers  on call  around the                                                                    
clock to accept  those calls. She emphasized  that the calls                                                                    
were wanted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill stated  that it  had been  a miscommunication                                                                    
that had  become apparent to  the legislature along  the way                                                                    
in that a  police officer could ask a judge.  He noted there                                                                    
had  been some  pushback [due  to the  miscommunication]. He                                                                    
thanked Ms. Meade for the clarification.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade   understood  that   some  law   enforcement  had                                                                    
expressed  discontent with  some  of the  provisions in  the                                                                    
bail schedule at an ACJC  meeting. The judges at the meeting                                                                    
had reiterated  that law enforcement  could call  [a judge].                                                                    
She  detailed that  sometimes it  happened and  sometimes it                                                                    
did not. She thought perhaps  more training could be done on                                                                    
both sides  to ensure an  officer knew they could  call. She                                                                    
explained that the officer could call for any reason.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Meade  detailed   that  the   revised  bail   schedule                                                                    
dovetailed more  closely with the current  bail statute. The                                                                    
statute specified a  person should be released  on their own                                                                    
recognizance unless something more  was needed to ensure the                                                                    
person's appearance  in court and something  more was needed                                                                    
to  prevent threat  to the  victim or  community. She  added                                                                    
that  at   the  same  ACJC  meeting,   law  enforcement  had                                                                    
expressed   discontent   about  misdemeanor   assault.   She                                                                    
detailed that under previous versions  of the bail schedule,                                                                    
misdemeanor  assault  had  been  an  own  recognizance  (OR)                                                                    
release - allowing  a person to go with a  date to come back                                                                    
for  their   arraignment  (four  days  to   one  week  later                                                                    
depending on  the court). Law  enforcement thought  it would                                                                    
be  more   appropriate  to  hold   a  person   arrested  for                                                                    
misdemeanor assault until  they saw a judge the  next day or                                                                    
held with  some money  bail so  that many  individuals could                                                                    
not   get  out.   The  presiding   judges   had  taken   the                                                                    
recommendation and the current  version of the bail schedule                                                                    
reflected that  a misdemeanor  assault was  no longer  an OR                                                                    
release. She pointed out that  recommendations could be made                                                                    
and considered by the presiding judges.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:37:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade spoke  to another  dissatisfaction she  had heard                                                                    
from some  people. She detailed  that the bail  schedule did                                                                    
not say  that a person shall  be held if they  were severely                                                                    
intoxicated.  The presiding  judges' response  to the  issue                                                                    
was  varied; the  four judges  could not  agree that  it was                                                                    
valid  to hold  someone  until they  reach  a certain  blood                                                                    
alcohol  content.  Without  a  law  requiring  DOC  to  hold                                                                    
intoxicated individuals  for a certain amount  of time, some                                                                    
of the presiding judges thought  there was not a legal basis                                                                    
for doing  so. In other  words, some  of the judges  did not                                                                    
think it was  justified by statute to make DOC  into a detox                                                                    
center.  She  noted  that the  legislature  may  have  heard                                                                    
something about  law enforcement wanting a  "sober" law. The                                                                    
reason  being  that  previously  Anchorage's  bail  schedule                                                                    
specified people could be held  until they reached a certain                                                                    
blood  alcohol content  or  until they  were  released to  a                                                                    
responsible  sober   adult.  However,  the   first  judicial                                                                    
districts   never  had   the  same   provision.  There   had                                                                    
previously been  variation and  unifying the  schedule meant                                                                    
some  changes  had been  made  that  impacted different  law                                                                    
enforcement and defendants in different ways.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade noted that the  Court System was neutral on bills.                                                                    
For example, she  did not have a policy  position on whether                                                                    
there  should be  jailtime for  Class  C felonies.  However,                                                                    
there  were a  number  of  provisions in  SB  54 that  would                                                                    
clarify some confusing  pieces of SB 91.  She explained that                                                                    
SB 91 had  changed the violating conditions  of release from                                                                    
a misdemeanor  to a violation  (but making it  an arrestable                                                                    
offence), which had  caused numerous logistical difficulties                                                                    
for  the court.  The change  to a  violation with  a maximum                                                                    
$1,000 fine made it difficult to  figure out what to do with                                                                    
the offender.  She elaborated that  the person could  not be                                                                    
held in  jail, if jail  was not  a possible penalty  for the                                                                    
offence. A  few workarounds had been  developed allowing the                                                                    
system to  deal with the  issue; however, SB 54  changed the                                                                    
violation to a  Class B misdemeanor with a  maximum of five-                                                                    
days of  jail time. The  change would be helpful  because it                                                                    
would  enable  DOC to  hold  a  person  until they  saw  the                                                                    
sentencing judge  again and perhaps get  the bail conditions                                                                    
in the underlying criminal  case adjusted appropriately. The                                                                    
change would clarify and help streamline the process.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:40:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade  categorized   a  couple  of  the   other  SB  54                                                                    
provisions  as procedural  and would  help the  functions of                                                                    
the court.  For example, the bill  provided clarification on                                                                    
how past offences were counted  to determine what sentencing                                                                    
range a person was in. The  bill fixed a problem where SB 91                                                                    
had  changed   driving  with  a  license   suspended  to  an                                                                    
infraction in many situations but  driving without a license                                                                    
was still a  misdemeanor. The change had  created an anomaly                                                                    
that she believed  was corrected by SB 54.  The Court System                                                                    
did not have a position on  whether it was sound policy, but                                                                    
the changes  did clarify some  things that  would streamline                                                                    
questions that had arisen with the passage of SB 91.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:41:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von   Imhof  referred  to  her   earlier  questions                                                                    
regarding concern  over district  being repeatedly  hit with                                                                    
petty  crime. She  asked what  the  passage of  SB 54  would                                                                    
allow   in   situations   where  repeated   break-ins   were                                                                    
occurring.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Meade  thought  Senator  von  Imhof  was  referring  to                                                                    
provisions in  SB 91 specifying  that misdemeanor  thefts of                                                                    
items valued  under $1,000 did  not carry the  potential for                                                                    
active  jail time  (a  person could  get  suspended time  or                                                                    
probation). Under  SB 91,  even if  a person  had repeatedly                                                                    
committed the crime, active jail  time could not be directly                                                                    
imposed  by a  judge.  There had  been some  dissatisfaction                                                                    
about that. She  detailed that Section 10 of  SB 54 directly                                                                    
addressed the  matter. There would  still be no  active jail                                                                    
time for a first offence, but  a person could get up to five                                                                    
days in jail  for a second offence and ten  days for a third                                                                    
offence. The reasoning was that  thefts were very serious to                                                                    
the  victim and  community  and it  had  been observed  that                                                                    
having no  possible jail time perhaps  created incentive for                                                                    
the  criminals. She  reiterated  that under  SB  54 a  judge                                                                    
could   impose  active   jail  time   -  she   believed  law                                                                    
enforcement and  prosecutors thought the offenders  ought to                                                                    
be put in jail for at least a couple of days as a penalty.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:43:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  von   Imhof  referred  to  quicker   processing  of                                                                    
pretrial.  She referred  to a  recent  Alaska Dispatch  News                                                                    
article  specifying  that  the Anchorage  Police  Department                                                                    
(APD) did  not always have  the incentive to finish  all the                                                                    
paperwork to  arrest someone because  they were  released so                                                                    
quickly. She wanted  to ensure that there  was incentive for                                                                    
APD  to  follow  through  on  arrests.  She  referenced  the                                                                    
potential for  five days  in jail for  a second  offence and                                                                    
ten days in  jail for a third offence, but  no jail time for                                                                    
the first  offence. She hoped  the individuals would  not be                                                                    
released before the ink was dried on their paperwork.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade could not speak  to the motivation or incentive of                                                                    
law enforcement. She  referred to the crimes as  low level -                                                                    
relative to thefts  of things with higher value  - which had                                                                    
been focused on by communities  since there was no potential                                                                    
for active  jail time in SB  91. She elaborated that  if she                                                                    
were  a  law enforcement  person  she  would want  to  begin                                                                    
counting a person's  thefts because by the  second time they                                                                    
could go  to jail.  She reasoned  that it  would incentivize                                                                    
her to  arrest a person  the first time as  well; therefore,                                                                    
if it  was the type of  individual who would enter  a future                                                                    
of  criminality,  she  could   begin  to  document  it.  Law                                                                    
enforcement either  returned to their vehicle  or used their                                                                    
handheld to look up a  person's record when determining what                                                                    
to  charge   them  with.  Filling  out   the  paperwork  and                                                                    
following through was something she  would do if she were in                                                                    
those shoes.  She noted that she  did not want to  speak for                                                                    
anyone  at  the  Department  of   Public  Safety  or  police                                                                    
departments.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:46:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Micciche  addressed  vehicle thefts.  He  discussed                                                                    
that  vehicles enabled  people to  get to  work and  to take                                                                    
their  kids to  school. When  they lost  their vehicle  they                                                                    
often  could not  replace that  mode  of transportation.  He                                                                    
furthered  that  the  vehicle owner  and  police  were  both                                                                    
frustrated. He  stated that Ms.  Meade had said  that courts                                                                    
could hold a  person [for vehicle theft].  He furthered that                                                                    
people were  not being  held or  it did  not seem  like they                                                                    
were  being held.  He elaborated  that sometimes  the police                                                                    
picked up  the same  person in another  vehicle on  the same                                                                    
afternoon.  He  wondered  why  the   system  was  not  being                                                                    
stricter  on those  individuals. He  stated that  the Senate                                                                    
had passed SB  54 in April, which would  bring a presumptive                                                                    
jail  time of  zero to  365 days  for Class  C felonies.  He                                                                    
asked  why  the  courts  were  not  taking  the  issue  more                                                                    
seriously.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Meade  replied that she  would need more detail  on what                                                                    
Senator  Micciche was  referring to.  She clarified  that it                                                                    
was  not the  case  where an  individual  would be  released                                                                    
right  away under  the bail  schedule for  a felony  vehicle                                                                    
theft;  it  could not  happen.  She  explained that  it  was                                                                    
difficult for  a judge to  hold the person in  jail pretrial                                                                    
(until a  person was tried,  accepted a plea deal,  or until                                                                    
their case was dismissed) when  law (SB 91) specified that a                                                                    
person  could not  go to  jail for  a crime.  She elaborated                                                                    
that SB 91  had specified that a  person would presumptively                                                                    
get  no jail  time  for a  first time  Class  C felony.  She                                                                    
furthered  that it  could be  the case  that a  judge let  a                                                                    
person out  on their own  recognizance at a hearing  the day                                                                    
after a crime was committed (it  could not be under the bail                                                                    
schedule)  and  the  person then  committed  another  crime.                                                                    
Under SB 54, there was a  possibility of zero to 365 days of                                                                    
jail for a first offense  vehicle theft. She added that more                                                                    
jail time  was allowed for  second and third offences  as it                                                                    
was under  SB 91. Currently, if  a person came in  for their                                                                    
arraignment  where  bail  was set  on  their  first  vehicle                                                                    
theft, the  court had a different  law in front of  them. If                                                                    
the  person could  serve jail  time, the  court was  perhaps                                                                    
more inclined  to set a bail  amount and keep the  person in                                                                    
prison pretrial.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill thanked  Ms. Meade  for  the explanation  and                                                                    
remarked  it  was  a  good reason  for  the  legislature  to                                                                    
expedite  SB 54.  He stated  that the  public outcry  on the                                                                    
issue had been huge. He  thanked Ms. Meade for providing the                                                                    
court's  point  of  view.  He  noted  that  the  information                                                                    
provided in the  hearing was for legislators  and the public                                                                    
to learn  how to make  the state  a safer place  quickly. He                                                                    
believed  SB  54  was  at  the  center  of  good  productive                                                                    
conversation. He relayed that  the committee would next hear                                                                    
from  the Department  of Health  and  Social Services  about                                                                    
behavioral health.  He noted the issue  had been significant                                                                    
in the  state's jail system for  some time. He spoke  to the                                                                    
importance  of  learning what  was  taking  place, what  was                                                                    
working, and what concerns existed.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:50:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RANDALL  BURNS,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  BEHAVIORAL  HEALTH,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT    OF   HEALTH    AND   SOCIAL    SERVICES   (via                                                                    
teleconference), referred  to a  list titled  "Substance Use                                                                    
Disorder Residential & Outpatient  Services - State Grantees                                                                    
& Private Providers"  (copy on file). The  list included all                                                                    
the  substance  use   disorder  residential  and  outpatient                                                                    
services in Alaska by community  (state grantees and private                                                                    
providers).  The Department  of Health  and Social  Services                                                                    
(DHSS) had  also provided a  handout with the  definition of                                                                    
the American  Society of Addiction Medicine  (ASAM) level of                                                                    
care  summary  (copy on  file).  The  presentation would  be                                                                    
focused on  substance use and  the impacts of SB  91 because                                                                    
DHSS believed it  had been the public's  concern. He relayed                                                                    
that  the  presentation would  not  focus  on mental  health                                                                    
treatment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:52:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns addressed a  PowerPoint presentation titled "Joint                                                                    
Senate  Finance  and   Judiciary  Committee  Meeting"  dated                                                                    
October  24, 2017  (copy  on  file). He  began  on slide  2,                                                                    
"Medication  Assisted  Treatment  -  Prescription  Drug  and                                                                    
Opioid Addiction  Program (MAT-PDOA)." He detailed  that the                                                                    
Substance  Abuse and  Mental Health  Services Administration                                                                    
(SAMHSA) had granted the funds targeted at three priority                                                                       
areas to combat opioid abuse:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
        1. Opioid prescribing practices to reduce opioid use                                                                    
          disorders and overdose                                                                                                
        2. Expanded use and distribution of naloxone                                                                            
        3. Expansion of Medication-assisted  Treatment (MAT)                                                                    
          to  reduce  opioid   use  disorders  and  overdose                                                                    
          (Alaska  is  focusing  on expansion  of  MAT  with                                                                    
          these funds)                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     May 2016                                                                                                                   
        · Department of  Health and Social  Services (DHSS),                                                                    
          Division  of  Behavioral  Health  (DBH)  submitted                                                                    
         application to SAMHSA for MAT-PDOA funds                                                                               
        · DHSS DBH proposed to  target two communities where                                                                    
          there  is  high  prevalence  of  individuals  with                                                                    
          opioid  use disorders  (Anchorage and  Juneau) and                                                                    
          proposed to  expand access to  medication assisted                                                                    
          treatment in these communities.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     September 2016                                                                                                             
        · DHSS DBH awarded $3,000,000  ($1 Million per year)                                                                    
          for 3 years (FFY 2016 - 2019)                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:54:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns moved to slide 3, "Medication Assisted Treatment                                                                      
- Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction Program (MAT-                                                                          
PDOA)":                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     January 2017                                                                                                               
     Funds were awarded to 2 grantees and opioid treatment                                                                      
     services began in January 2017:                                                                                            
        · Narcotic  Drug  Treatment   Center  in  Anchorage:                                                                    
          funds  the increase  of  opioid treatment  program                                                                    
          (Methadone)  capacity,  with   the  opening  of  a                                                                    
          second dosing  window to  serve and  an additional                                                                    
          200 patients over next 2.5 years                                                                                      
        · Rainforest  Recovery Center  in  Juneau: funds  an                                                                    
          office-based   opioid  treatment   (OBOT)  program                                                                    
          (Suboxone) with  goal to  serve 100  patients over                                                                    
          the next 2.5 years                                                                                                    
     The goal of funding these agencies' MAT services is to                                                                     
     increase Alaska's overall MAT capacity by 250                                                                              
     individuals over the next 2.5 years                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns  added  that  DHSS  had  given  $450,000  to  the                                                                    
Narcotic  Drug  Treatment  Center   per  year  and  Bartlett                                                                    
[Regional Hospital] had received  $350,000, beginning in the                                                                    
current year.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:56:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns  advanced  to slide  4,  "Opioid  State  Targeted                                                                    
Response (STR)":                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's focus for the STR:                                                                                                
        · Increase   provider   capacity   in   Alaska   for                                                                    
          medication assisted treatment (MAT)                                                                                   
        · Increase number of clients receiving appropriate                                                                      
          opioid use disorder / medication assisted                                                                             
          treatment                                                                                                             
       · Decrease the negative impacts of opioid use                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Funds awarded to Alaska:                                                                                                   
     2017 $2,000,000.00                                                                                                         
     2018 $2,000,000.00                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     To achieve these goals Alaska is utilizing a four-                                                                         
     pronged approach:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        1. Fund 3 agencies in high needs communities to                                                                         
          provide office-based opioid treatment (OBOT)                                                                          
          using Vermont's hub and spoke model                                                                                   
        2. Increase number of physicians, PAs, and NPs by                                                                       
          facilitating access to education and case                                                                             
          consultation                                                                                                          
        3. Engage Alaska's reentry coalitions to facilitate                                                                     
          access to MAT for individuals who are returning                                                                       
          to the community from correctional facilities                                                                         
        4. Purchasing and distribution of drug disposal bags                                                                    
          and naloxone in remote areas of Alaska                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns  elaborated that the department's  intent had been                                                                    
to fund four agencies in  high-needs communities, but it had                                                                    
ended up  only funding three.  He detailed that  the Vermont                                                                    
"Hub  and Spoke"  model  included  stabilizing the  addicted                                                                    
patient   and   providing  suboxone   through   office-based                                                                    
treatment by a  physician who had agreed to  open a suboxone                                                                    
practice, which  was usually housed with  their primary care                                                                    
practice. As  the individual improved, the  process involved                                                                    
ensuring  they  were  connected  with  other  local  service                                                                    
providers   to  meet   additional  treatment,   housing,  or                                                                    
healthcare.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns  highlighted  slide  5,  "Opioid  State  Targeted                                                                    
Response (STR)":                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     3 agencies were awarded funds in August 2017                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     · Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) in Fairbanks:                                                                         
        Goal is to serve 70 new clients in FY18                                                                                 
     · Interior Aids Association (IAA) in Fairbanks: Goal                                                                       
        is to serve 66 new clients in FY18                                                                                      
     · Cook Inlet Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse                                                                          
        (CICADA) in Kenai: Goal is to serve 40 new clients                                                                      
        in FY18                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Services just began this month (October 1, 2017)                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns expounded that DHSS  had initiated four grant RFPs                                                                    
and only three  agencies had applied. He  explained that the                                                                    
division  had some  additional funds,  which it  was in  the                                                                    
process of  considering putting  out the  remaining $300,000                                                                    
for  the current  fiscal year  for adolescent  services. The                                                                    
department had  identified there  were additional  needs for                                                                    
adolescents experiencing an opioid  use disorder; it planned                                                                    
to target the particular population.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:59:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns  spoke  to slide  6,  "Prescription  Drug  Opioid                                                                    
Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO)":                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     · Collaborative initiative between DBH and the Office                                                                      
        of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention (OSMAP)                                                                    
     · Implementation of Project HOPE - Harm reduction,                                                                         
        Overdose Prevention, and Education                                                                                      
          o Program focuses on opioid overdose education,                                                                       
             prevention and community outreach                                                                                  
          o Community-based naloxone (NARCAN) distribution                                                                      
             program                                                                                                            
          o As of 9/29/17, 8,181 Narcan kits and 25,000                                                                         
             drug disposal bags                                                                                                 
     · Funding awarded to the state in 2016 - $4,058,213                                                                        
        for a five-year period                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns   noted  that  OSMAP  director   Andy  Jones  was                                                                    
available for more detailed questions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:01:15 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns looked at slide  7, "The Strategic Partnership for                                                                    
Success (PFS)":                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     · The Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for                                                                      
        Success (PFS) initiative is part of a comprehensive                                                                     
        approach to opioid addiction in Alaska.                                                                                 
     · The goal of the initiative is to reduce and prevent                                                                      
        the non-medical use of prescription opioids and                                                                         
        heroin among 18- to 25-year-olds by focusing on                                                                         
        three key intervening variables:                                                                                        
        1. The social availability of prescription opioids,                                                                     
        2. The retail availability of prescription opioids                                                                      
        3. The perceptions of harm for risk.                                                                                    
     · Six prevention and early intervention coalitions in                                                                      
        communities around the state were awarded funds                                                                         
        through the PFS grant: Sitka, Juneau, Kenai,                                                                            
        Anchorage, Mat-Su, and Fairbanks.                                                                                       
     · Funding: $1,648,188 each year for 5 years (although                                                                      
        we were notified of a $500,000 reduction in the                                                                         
        amount of the FY18 grant award)                                                                                         
     · Project period 9/30/2015 through 9/29/2020                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
12:02:36 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ANDY  JONES,  CHIEF,  RURAL AND  COMMUNITY  HEALTH  SYSTEMS,                                                                    
DIVISION OF  PUBLIC HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF  HEALTH AND SOCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES (via teleconference), elaborated  on the success of                                                                    
the initiatives. He detailed that  the education aspects had                                                                    
been  a   great  foundation  for  Alaskan   communities.  He                                                                    
furthered it  had been shocking how  communities were asking                                                                    
for the basic level education.  Therefore, it was one of the                                                                    
components provided  to community members and  providers. He                                                                    
reported an  increase in expansion of  taskforces across the                                                                    
state,  which were  creating  community-based solutions  and                                                                    
adding community  continuity. He  relayed that  the solution                                                                    
was  in the  community,  which  was one  of  the things  the                                                                    
division was working with.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:03:23 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns  turned  to  slide  8  pertaining  to  recidivism                                                                    
reduction and funds  that had been directed  to DHSS because                                                                    
of SB 91.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
GENNIFER MOREAU-JOHNSON,  BEHAVIORAL HEALTH  POLICY ADVISOR,                                                                    
COMMISSIONER'S  OFFICE,  DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH  AND  SOCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES   (via   teleconference),    addressed   slide   8,                                                                    
"Recidivism  Reduction."  Recidivism reduction  funding  was                                                                    
intended  to break  the  cycle of  repeat  offenders; SB  91                                                                    
resulted  in   the  Division  of  Behavioral   Health  (DBH)                                                                    
receiving $1  million for  FY 17  and $2  million for  FY 18                                                                    
through which, DBH was able  to leverage a strong grants and                                                                    
contracts  infrastructure  to coordinate  targeted  programs                                                                    
and support.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:04:34 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Moreau-Johnson spoke  to slide 9, "Funds  are being used                                                                    
for":                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        · Increased Partners Reentry Center (Anchorage)                                                                         
          funding                                                                                                               
             o Additional deliverables, including:                                                                              
                  ƒIncreased Medicaid enrollment                                                                               
                  ƒProvide a reentry center model and                                                                          
                    reentry    center   technical    support                                                                    
                    statewide                                                                                                   
             o Increased number of reentrants served                                                                            
        · Expanded existing community reentry program and                                                                       
          coalitions                                                                                                            
             o Anchorage, Fairbanks, Mat-Su and Juneau                                                                          
                  ƒCase Management Services are targeted                                                                       
                    to offenders who have served over 30                                                                        
                    days and are within 90 days of release;                                                                     
                    priority is given to medium to high-                                                                        
                    risk felony offenders and high-risk                                                                         
                    misdemeanants                                                                                               
        · Base funding for rural reentry coalitions                                                                             
             o Grants to develop rural coalitions have been                                                                     
               awarded to Kenai, Nome, and Ketchikan                                                                            
             o Dillingham was awarded a grant to expand                                                                         
               their reentry task force and case management                                                                     
               efforts                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Moreau-Johnson elaborated  that the  expanded community                                                                    
reentry  program  and  coalitions  offered  case  management                                                                    
services,  housing  placement   and  transitional  supports,                                                                    
linkage  to   treatment,  employment   assistance,  Medicaid                                                                    
enrollment,   transportation   assistance,   and   emergency                                                                    
assistance  vouchers.   She  detailed  that   rural  reentry                                                                    
programs  were focused  on provider  capacity and  community                                                                    
planning.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:05:27 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Moreau-Johnson  highlighted slide  10, "Funds  are being                                                                    
used for":                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        · 2-year study of the DOC Vivitrol Intervention                                                                         
          Program                                                                                                               
             o The University of Alaska will assess the                                                                         
               effectiveness of the program                                                                                     
        · Technology platform improvements for secure case                                                                      
          management tracking and increased functionality                                                                       
          in both DOC and DBH                                                                                                   
             o Alaska   Corrections    Offender   Management                                                                    
               System (ACOMS)                                                                                                   
             o Alaska   Automated   Information   Management                                                                    
               System (AKAIMS)                                                                                                  
        In addition                                                                                                             
        · DBH treatment supports leveraged with criminal                                                                        
          justice-specific supports                                                                                             
             o Linkages to treatment providers pre-release;                                                                     
               transitional,  rapid   or  permanent  housing                                                                    
               placements; increased  enrollment in Medicaid                                                                    
               (to  facilitate greater  access to  treatment                                                                    
               resources);   transportation    support   for                                                                    
               individuals to attend appointments                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Moreau-Johnson expounded  that the Vivitrol Intervention                                                                    
Program   would    provide   valuable    information   about                                                                    
individuals reentering  communities seeking  assistance. The                                                                    
technology  platforms would  facilitate  referrals from  the                                                                    
therapeutic courts  and to  refer reentering  individuals to                                                                    
case managers.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
12:06:10 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Moreau-Johnson  discussed  slide  11,  "Alcohol  Safety                                                                    
Action Program (ASAP)":                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        Enhanced Adult Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)                                                                           
        screening and monitoring                                                                                                
        · All ASAP offices have been trained and are                                                                            
          currently screening and assessing clients using                                                                       
          the new tools                                                                                                         
        · If   clients   score   high   on   a   preliminary                                                                    
          assessment, ASAP probation officers and grantees                                                                      
          have been trained to use the full LSI-R                                                                               
          assessment                                                                                                            
        · Continuing   training   opportunities   for   ASAP                                                                    
          probation   officers   and   grantees,   including                                                                    
          utilizing distance conferencing and learning                                                                          
          tools (Web-Ex and Moodle)                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Moreau-Johnson elaborated on  slide 11. The ASAP program                                                                    
ensured  screenings were  conducted using  a validated  risk                                                                    
tool and  monitoring of participants was  appropriate to the                                                                    
risk of reoffence as determined by the screening.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns  added that at  the end  of FY 16  the legislature                                                                    
had suggested funding of up to  $31 million in new funds for                                                                    
behavioral health.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burns  discussed  slide 12,  "Increased  Substance  Use                                                                    
Disorder Treatment Services."  He explained that eventually,                                                                    
new  additional behavioral  health funds  of $6  million had                                                                    
been delivered  to the division. Subsequently,  the division                                                                    
had provided grants in communities  with the identified need                                                                    
of additional  substance use  disorder treatment.  The three                                                                    
projects were outlined on slide 12:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     · Set Free Alaska, a 16-bed Residential Women &                                                                            
        Children's Substance Use Disorder Program                                                                               
     · Central Peninsula General Hospital Withdrawal                                                                            
        Management program, 6 beds expanding to 10                                                                              
     · Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) Sobering Center-                                                                          
        opening as a day program this month, expanding to                                                                       
        12-bed capacity                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns  expounded that the withdrawal  management program                                                                    
was  a  new  detox  program   on  the  Kenai  Peninsula.  He                                                                    
referenced the  Tanana Chiefs Conference Sobering  Center in                                                                    
Fairbanks and  detailed that the  goal had been to  open the                                                                    
center much  sooner, but they  had been struggling  with the                                                                    
facility  and   local  public   concerns  about   placing  a                                                                    
behavioral  health program  in  their  neighborhood. He  had                                                                    
been in  Fairbanks the  previous day and  had been  told the                                                                    
facility should  be opening shortly.  He concluded  that the                                                                    
presentation  had  been  a  brief  overview  of  the  opioid                                                                    
treatment, substance abuse, and  use of recidivism reduction                                                                    
funding  that had  come to  the department  in the  past two                                                                    
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:09:10 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Wielechowski  asked what plans had  been implemented                                                                    
by  the department  to measure  the  effectiveness of  funds                                                                    
that had  been and would be  spent. He asked to  receive the                                                                    
information in order for the  legislature to determine where                                                                    
state dollars were best used.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns replied  that all the federal  grants had specific                                                                    
requirements  around data  collection  and reporting,  which                                                                    
the  department  had to  provide.  The  department would  be                                                                    
happy to share the  data with the legislature. Additionally,                                                                    
DHSS  was tracking  success and  the  number of  individuals                                                                    
served by  the $6  million and  the out  sum from  the three                                                                    
grants  [shown   on  slide   12]  to   recidivism  reduction                                                                    
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon  remarked that the public  was interested                                                                    
in the  behavioral health services  deployed and  the timing                                                                    
of the services.  She asked whether it was fair  to say that                                                                    
the grants  addressed by  Mr. Burns  had been  received from                                                                    
the federal government and passed  to local communities. She                                                                    
stated  that  the  Senate Finance  Committee  was  sometimes                                                                    
criticized for increases  to the state budget.  She asked if                                                                    
the funds received  would look like an  increase in spending                                                                    
on the state's balance sheet.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill   added  that  the   state  was   working  in                                                                    
partnership with  the federal government to  solve a problem                                                                    
occurring nationwide but was troubling to Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
12:12:04 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
QUINLAN   STEINER,   DIRECTOR,   PUBLIC   DEFENDER   AGENCY,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  ADMINISTRATION (via  teleconference), relayed                                                                    
that he was a member of  ACJC, and had worked extensively on                                                                    
the recommendations  that formed the  basis of SB 91  and SB
54.  The  full implementation  SB  91  had  yet to  occur  -                                                                    
significant provisions would go  into place in January 2018.                                                                    
He noted  that future  success of the  initiatives in  SB 91                                                                    
were contained in  the most recent ACJC report;  there was a                                                                    
need  to continue  to fully  implement SB  91 and  to ensure                                                                    
that  sufficient  funding  for rehabilitative  programs  was                                                                    
present to achieve the maximum  benefits of the initiatives,                                                                    
recidivism  reduction,  and   increased  public  safety.  He                                                                    
furthered  that  SB  54, in  line  with  original  policies,                                                                    
included  changes  and  tweaks  that  substantially  address                                                                    
public concerns in an effort  to continue the credibility of                                                                    
the  justice   system  as  reductions  in   recidivism  were                                                                    
pursued.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
12:14:15 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Stevens  referred to Washington Post  articles and a                                                                    
60  Minutes television  report  about  middle suppliers.  He                                                                    
cited a  report about [the pharmaceutical  company] McKesson                                                                    
selling 1  million pills into  a community of 200.  He asked                                                                    
if that  was under Mr.  Steiner's oversight and  wondered if                                                                    
anyone was dealing with the  issue. He wondered if the issue                                                                    
was covered in SB 91 or SB 54.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steiner was not familiar  with the article referenced by                                                                    
Senator Stevens and could not comment.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Senator Stevens encouraged Mr. Steiner  to read the article,                                                                    
which he  called remarkable and  shocking. He  detailed that                                                                    
there were small communities inundated  with many more pills                                                                    
than  they could  possibly use.  He shared  that because  of                                                                    
donations from  drug companies to  Congressmembers, Congress                                                                    
had passed a law that  kept the Drug Enforcement Agency from                                                                    
doing investigations.  He would  be grateful if  Mr. Steiner                                                                    
would contact him to discuss what could be done in Alaska.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Steiner  replied that he  would review the  articles and                                                                    
would follow up with Senator Stevens.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Chair   Coghill   informed   the  committee   that   SB   74                                                                    
[legislation   passed  in   2016],   Medicaid  reform,   had                                                                    
requirements on reporting and  limitations on dispensing. He                                                                    
suggested a discussion with Senator  Pete Kelly's office [SB
74  sponsor] to  help understand  the issue  and status.  He                                                                    
believed  the topic  would be  an important  part of  how to                                                                    
look at Alaska.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Stevens  requested   that  Chair  Coghill's  office                                                                    
disseminate  the   report  from  the  Washington   Post.  He                                                                    
believed people would  be shocked by events  taking place in                                                                    
Kentucky.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:16:11 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill  asked  Mr.  Burns   to  address  an  earlier                                                                    
question by Co-Chair MacKinnon.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns  replied that the division  requested authority to                                                                    
expend  federal  grant  funds.   He  detailed  that  federal                                                                    
authority  was  required  to  access   the  funds,  but  the                                                                    
increment did not show up as General Fund.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  MacKinnon explained  that grants  received by  the                                                                    
state showed  up on the  state's budget. She  specified that                                                                    
the first step  was to allow federal authority  and then the                                                                    
funding came  in as federal  receipts. She thought  that for                                                                    
some  people who  considered the  budget  to be  increasing,                                                                    
there  may  not  be understanding  that  increased  spending                                                                    
could be merely  a pass-through of federal  dollars to local                                                                    
communities to help with the opioid epidemic.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burns agreed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Chair Coghill  confirmed that when the  state received funds                                                                    
from  the  federal  government   and  passed  the  funds  to                                                                    
communities, it appeared the state was spending the money.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:18:29 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Hoffman  announced   that   the  Senate   Finance                                                                    
Committee would  be conducting  meetings the  following week                                                                    
in  Anchorage   to  deal  with  the   second  item  (payroll                                                                    
deduction) on the governor's call to special session.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Coghill thanked  the presenters  for  their time.  He                                                                    
believed  the meeting  goal had  been to  address that  much                                                                    
work had gone  into the process and there was  need for some                                                                    
changes in  SB 54. The  committees wanted to  establish what                                                                    
had been happening and what was  good for Alaska in terms of                                                                    
public safety.  He concluded that  the Senate would  wait to                                                                    
see how the House managed the issue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Hoffman emphasized  that  crime  was in  important                                                                    
issue  to the  Senate. He  noted that  the Senate  had early                                                                    
action on  SB 54. He  furthered that SB  91 was law  and the                                                                    
Senate  was trying  to  make fixes  to  assist agencies.  He                                                                    
communicated  that   the  Senate  was  looking   forward  to                                                                    
receiving  action by  the House.  He thanked  the committees                                                                    
and the public for paying attention to the important issue.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
12:20:26 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects