Legislature(2017 - 2018)

2018-02-02 Senate Journal

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2018-02-02                     Senate Journal                      Page 1905
SB 172                                                                                                                        
SENATE BILL NO. 172 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                               
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
          "An Act relating to computer use by prisoners; and                                                                    
          relating to an exemption from the State Procurement                                                                   
          Code for contracts for rehabilitation and reentry                                                                     
was read the first time and referred to the Judiciary and Finance                                                               
The following fiscal information was published today:                                                                           
 Fiscal Note No. 1, zero, Department of Corrections                                                                             

2018-02-02                     Senate Journal                      Page 1906
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 31:                                                                                 
Dear President Kelly,                                                                                                           
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to rehabilitation and                                                           
reentry services for prisoners.                                                                                                 
This bill would further the State's goal of successful rehabilitation of                                                        
prisoners by increasing access to reentry and rehabilitation services                                                           
both online and in their home towns. First, the bill would allow                                                                
incarcerated persons to use computers to access reentry services,                                                               
allowing them to apply for medical assistance, search for housing, and                                                          
other services they will need post-incarceration. Second, the bill would                                                        
authorize the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections to                                                                  
authorize contracts for rehabilitation services without going through                                                           
the procurement code.                                                                                                           
In many instances, released prisoners wish to return to their home                                                              
communities to be with family and friends, have a support system, and                                                           
be in a familiar setting. If that home community lacks established                                                              
rehabilitation services, the released prisoner must decide between                                                              
receiving services and living in the community most likely to assist in                                                         
the person's reentry to society. By exempting the Commissioner from                                                             
the procurement code for reentry and rehabilitation services, a person                                                          
would be able to receive needed services in the community most                                                                  
conducive to the person's recovery.                                                                                             
For a Safer Alaska, I urge your prompt and favorable action on this                                                             
Bill Walker