Legislature(1997 - 1998)
1998-01-16 House JournalFull Journal pdf
1998-01-16 House Journal Page 2068 HB 329 HOUSE BILL NO. 329 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act amending the definition of correctional facility to include a therapeutic treatment center; providing for the conveyance of the Harborview Developmental Center and appurtenant land to the City of Valdez for the purpose of conversion and lease of a part of the center for a therapeutic treatment center for the Department of Corrections; providing that such a land conveyance counts toward the general grant land entitlement of the City of Valdez; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the State Affairs, Judiciary and Finance Committees. The following fiscal notes apply: Fiscal note, Dept. of Corrections, 1/16/98 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 1/16/98 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Health & Social Services, 1/16/98 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Natural Resources, 1/16/98 The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 16, 1998, appears below: "Dear Speaker Phillips: Nearly 80 percent of all crimes committed in Alaska involve substance abuse. Ensuring safe, healthy communities for Alaskans means having treatment programs designed to reduce the number of people who are 1998-01-16 House Journal Page 2069 HB 329 victimized by persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In line with that effort, this bill authorizes the transfer of the Harborview Developmental Center to the City of Valdez for conversion, in part, to a therapeutic treatment center. The Department of Corrections would then lease the facility from the City of Valdez, which has agreed to invest considerable resources into the necessary conversion. The Department of Corrections currently has three types of inmate substance abuse programs: substance abuse education, education plus an introduction to treatment, and institutional outpatient treatment. The department needs to complete its continuum of care by establishing an intensive in-prison program that treats the most severe substance abusers. The Department of Corrections proposes to use a part of the soon-to- be-vacated facility for an intensive substance abuse treatment program, commonly referred to as a "therapeutic community". In 1997, the United States Department of Justice reported studies show consistent reductions in recidivism rates for offenders who complete such programs while in prison. That would also result in fewer crime victims. There are currently between 90 and 110 incarcerated inmates who need and qualify for therapeutic community treatment. This bill would provide financing for 60 new corrections beds in Valdez and, thus would help ease the pressure on a severely overcrowded correctional system. This legislation also keeps with art. I, sec. 12, of the Alaska Constitution, which mandates criminal administration be based on the principle of reformation. Anticipated costs for fiscal year 1999 would be approximately $2.5 million, of which $569,000 is planned for treatment. Annual costs thereafter are estimated at $2.7 million. This bill is one more step the state can take to reduce the number of victims of crimes resulting from an offender's substance abuse, provide 1998-01-16 House Journal Page 2070 HB 329 intensive treatment to reduce repeat criminal behavior, and provide new beds for a severely overcrowded correctional system. I urge your quick and favorable action so the Department of Corrections can begin occupancy by September, 1998. Sincerely, /s/ Tony Knowles Governor"