HB 87: "An Act authorizing youth courts to provide for peer adjudication of minors who have allegedly committed violations of state or municipal laws, and renaming the community legal assistance grant fund and amending the purposes for which grants may be made from that fund in order to provide financial assistance for organization and initial operation of youth courts."
00HOUSE BILL NO. 87 01 "An Act authorizing youth courts to provide for peer adjudication of minors who 02 have allegedly committed violations of state or municipal laws, and renaming the 03 community legal assistance grant fund and amending the purposes for which 04 grants may be made from that fund in order to provide financial assistance for 05 organization and initial operation of youth courts." 06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 * Section 1. PURPOSE OF ACT. The purpose of this Act is to provide a means by which 08 young people under the age of 18, with the concurrence of the juvenile intake unit of the 09 Department of Health and Social Services, may choose to work with their peers and with 10 interested adults in order to resolve their legal problems without receiving a criminal record. 11 * Sec. 2. CONSIDERATIONS RELATING TO THE ACT'S ADOPTION. (a) ". . . 12 [P]ursuant to [state] constitutional authority granting rulemaking power to the Alaska supreme 13 court," the Alaska Court System has adopted a body of rules applicable to the practice and 14 procedures governing certain juvenile proceedings, the Alaska Delinquency Rules. To the
01 extent of any inconsistency between them, the supreme court has observed, the delinquency 02 rules supersede and prevail over related procedural provisions of the state statutes. 03 (b) The court's delinquency rules authorize the informal disposition of alleged juvenile 04 delinquency matters before the filing with the court of a petition for juvenile delinquency 05 adjudication. They assign primary responsibility for those informal dispositions to the juvenile 06 intake unit of the Department of Health and Social Services. 07 (c) The authorization and expansion of the youth court model made by this Act as a 08 pre-petition diversion program is prompted by the success enjoyed by the Anchorage Youth 09 Court model since its inception in 1989. In the Anchorage Youth Court model, interested 10 young people and adults, with the generous support and assistance of the juvenile intake 11 office, Department of Health & Social Services, the Alaska Court System, the Alaska Bar 12 Association, the Anchorage Bar Association, law enforcement and school district officials, 13 professionals, and parents, have developed and implemented a mechanism by which to respond 14 to juvenile legal problems and to adjudicate them informally, promptly, and effectively, in a 15 way that is meaningful to the offender, the victim, and the community. 16 (d) This Act is adopted in furtherance of the recommendation expressed in Legislative 17 Resolve 61 adopted by the Seventeenth Alaska State Legislature urging expanded use of youth 18 courts within the state. 19 * Sec. 3. AS 18.05 is amended by adding a new section to read: 20 ARTICLE 2. YOUTH COURTS. 21 Sec. 18.05.100. YOUTH COURTS. (a) The department may use youth courts 22 to hear, determine, and dispose of cases involving a minor whose alleged act that 23 brings the minor within the jurisdiction of AS 47.10.010 - 47.10.142 constitutes a 24 violation of a state or municipal law. 25 (b) Unless otherwise directed by the commissioner, the jurisdiction of a youth 26 court is coextensive with the boundaries of the municipality in which the youth court 27 is located. Only one youth court may be established within the boundaries of a 28 municipality. Nothing in this subsection prohibits two or more municipalities from 29 operating a single youth court for the municipalities by agreement between them. 30 (c) A nonprofit corporation may obtain recognition from the commissioner to 31 serve as a youth court. The corporation may exercise only the powers that are
01 delegated to a youth court by the commissioner, and shall exercise those powers as 02 authorized by the corporation's articles of incorporation and bylaws. The bylaws of 03 the corporation must set out standards and procedures by which the corporation, in its 04 capacity as a youth court, 05 (1) guarantees the constitutional rights of the juvenile that are 06 guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions; 07 (2) may secure jurisdiction over a juvenile; 08 (3) sets out the process for disposing of matters referred to it for 09 resolution; 10 (4) provides a process for appeal of a verdict or sentence, and defines 11 the basis for appeals; and 12 (5) prepares and delivers a report of the disposition of the matter 13 referred to it for resolution to the commissioner. 14 (d) Subject to the privileges that witnesses have in the courts of this state, the 15 commissioner may compel by subpoena, at a specified time and place, the 16 (1) appearance and sworn testimony of a person who the commissioner 17 reasonably believes may be able to give information relating to a matter before a youth 18 court; and 19 (2) production by a person of a record or object that the commissioner 20 reasonably believes may relate to a matter before a youth court. 21 (e) If a person refuses to comply with a subpoena issued under (d) of this 22 section, the superior court may, upon application of the commissioner, compel 23 obedience by proceedings for contempt in the same manner as in the case of 24 disobedience to the requirements of a subpoena issued by the court or refusal to testify 25 in the court. 26 (f) The commissioner shall make and keep records of all cases referred to a 27 youth court. The records of a youth court proceeding must be afforded at least the 28 same protection and are subject to the same procedural safeguards in matters relating 29 to access, use, and security as they would be under AS 47.10.093. 30 * Sec. 4. AS 44.47.200 is amended to read: 31 Sec. 44.47.200. [COMMUNITY] LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND JUVENILE
01 JUSTICE GRANT FUND. There is created in the department the [COMMUNITY] 02 legal assistance and juvenile justice grant fund. From legislative appropriations to the 03 fund, the department shall make grants 04 (1) to eligible communities and regions for the purpose of enabling 05 them to obtain legal assistance; and 06 (2) to a nonprofit corporation established under AS 18.05.100 to 07 operate as a youth court. 08 * Sec. 5. AS 44.47.210 is amended to read: 09 Sec. 44.47.210. ELIGIBILITY. First and second class cities and 10 unincorporated villages, and regional associations of those communities, may apply to 11 the department for a grant under AS 44.47.200(1) [AS 44.47.200]. Grants shall be 12 made only to those communities or regions that would otherwise be unable to obtain 13 legal assistance. A regional or village corporation formed under 43 U.S.C. 1601 - 14 1608 (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) is not eligible for a grant under 15 AS 44.47.200(1) [AS 44.47.200]. 16 * Sec. 6. AS 44.47.210 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 17 (b) Nonprofit corporations proposing to establish and operate youth courts 18 under AS 18.05.100 may apply to the department for an organizational grant under 19 AS 44.47.200(2). A grant under this subsection must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar 20 basis by the grantee in cash or in kind. The commissioner may waive the match 21 required under this subsection on a showing satisfactory to the commissioner by the 22 prospective applicant that matching funds are not available. 23 * Sec. 7. AS 44.47.220 is amended to read: 24 Sec. 44.47.220. GRANTS. Grants made under AS 44.47.200(1) 25 [AS 44.47.200] shall be used for a single legal project and not for the provision of 26 general legal counsel. The department shall assure that the grant is spent for necessary 27 legal assistance and that appropriate accounting procedures are maintained. Grants 28 made under AS 44.47.200(1) and this subsection may not exceed $20,000. 29 * Sec. 8. AS 44.47.220 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 30 (b) Grants made under AS 44.47.200(2) shall be used to defray the costs of 31 organization of youth courts under AS 18.50.100. The department shall assure that the
01 grant is spent for necessary organizational assistance and that appropriate accounting 02 procedures are maintained. Grants made under AS 44.47.200(2) and this subsection 03 may not exceed $5,000. Only one grant may be made to a grantee under authority of 04 this subsection.