Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/15/2003 08:02 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 134-CORRECTIONAL FACILITY EXPANSION                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[Contains discussion of SB 65 and HB 55.]                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2790                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the next  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  134,  "An Act  authorizing  the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections to enter into agreements  with municipalities for new                                                               
or  expanded  public  correctional facilities  in  the  Fairbanks                                                               
North Star  Borough, the  Matanuska-Susitna Borough,  Bethel, and                                                               
the Municipality of Anchorage."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2799                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2800                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 134,  Version  23-LS0563\D,  Luckhaupt,                                                               
3/31/03, as  a work draft.   There being no objection,  Version D                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2821                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BILL   STOLTZE,  Alaska  State   Legislature,  as                                                               
sponsor of  HB 134,  noted that on  page 2, line  19, there  is a                                                               
numerical  error.     The  number  should   read  "$11,000",  not                                                               
"$14,600", he pointed out.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2844                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if there  was any objection  to [Amendment                                                               
1] changing "$14,600" to "$11,000" on  page 2, line 19 of Version                                                               
D.  There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2860                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  referred to  a handout [available  in the                                                               
committee packet]  entitled, "DOC  Responses To HB  134 Questions                                                               
Raised  By Committee  Members In  HSTA Hearing  - 04/01/03."   He                                                               
referred  to another  handout [also  available  in the  committee                                                               
packet] entitled,  "Department of Corrections FY  2008 Prison Bed                                                               
Cost  Comparison,"  which  shows   the  cost  comparison  between                                                               
[current use of] the Arizona  facility, building a private prison                                                               
[as proposed in  HB 55], and a public prison  detail [as proposed                                                               
in HB 134].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  said he is  still purporting that  HB 134                                                               
and  its companion  bill  in  the Senate,  SB  65,  are the  best                                                               
options for Alaska;  HB 134 is fiscally competitive  and has some                                                               
advantages,  notwithstanding the  advantages of  the increase  in                                                               
employment  through construction,  for  example.   He said,  "Our                                                               
corrections model has shown that  we have a professionally manned                                                               
and safe model of public safety  for corrections."  He stated his                                                               
hope  that the  committee  would advance  [the  model offered  in                                                               
HB 134].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2939                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARC ANTRIM,  Commissioner, Department  of Corrections  (DOC), in                                                               
response to  a question  by Chair  Weyhrauch, confirmed  that the                                                               
previously cited  handout regarding the  DOC's answers to  HB 134                                                               
questions is  two pages, and attached  to the back of  it are two                                                               
other pages  that are not  numbered sequentially, which  offer an                                                               
"Alaska Construction Cost Comparison."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   referred  to  the  previously   cited  handout                                                               
regarding the prison bed cost comparison  and asked why FY 08 was                                                               
chosen.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM  explained that  FY  08  is when  the  other                                                               
projects  [for  the  proposed private  prison  and  the  proposed                                                               
public prison] would "come on line."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-40, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2965                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM,   in  response  to  a   question  by  Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch  regarding  whether this  analysis  is  an updating  of                                                               
preexisting data, said  he thinks that the proposals  in the past                                                               
have  been so  different that  it  would be  safe to  say that  a                                                               
comparison of  this type has not  been done.  That,  he added, is                                                               
one of the reasons that the debate has gotten "so muddied up."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2935                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH remarked  that  he has  never  seen an  accurate                                                               
estimate on construction costs in Alaska.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM responded by referring  to the second page of                                                               
the  ["Alaska Construction  Cost  Comparison"].   He pointed  out                                                               
that  the   "Anchorage  Jail,"   at  $264   a  square   foot,  is                                                               
highlighted.   One of the  committee members, he said,  had asked                                                               
at the  April 1 hearing on  HB 134 for a  comparison between per-                                                               
foot prison  construction costs and  other construction  costs in                                                               
the state.   He commented that  the square-foot cost of  the jail                                                               
in  Anchorage  is   [within  the  range]  of   the  other  public                                                               
construction costs listed.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2877                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH recalled  that  at a  previous hearing,  perhaps                                                               
regarding HB 55,  a testifier had revealed  that the construction                                                               
in the Anchorage  jail facility would be  primarily for detainees                                                               
of INS  [Immigration and Naturalization Service,  now replaced by                                                               
agencies under  the U.S.  Department of  Homeland Security].   He                                                               
said the expansion of that  facility was, he thought, 100-percent                                                               
reimbursable from federal money  available for the INS detainees.                                                               
He asked Commissioner Antrim if that is his understanding.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2864                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM  answered, "That  is correct."   He  said the                                                               
U.S. Marshall  service requested that  project and brought  it to                                                               
[the DOC]  to pursue.  He  said INS activities and  activities of                                                               
the  offices of  the U.S.  Marshall in  Anchorage and  Juneau are                                                               
expected to increase.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if the  legislature needs to do anything in                                                               
order for  the state to obtain  those federal funds to  begin the                                                               
expansion of the Anchorage facility for the INS detainees.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM stated his  understanding that simply passing                                                               
[HB 134] will  give "us" the federal receipt  authority to accept                                                               
those funds from the federal  government, once they are allocated                                                               
by Congress.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH asked,  "Is that  contemplated by  HB 134?"   He                                                               
clarified, "That  proposal would go  forward if [HB]  134 becomes                                                               
law."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM responded yes.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked,  "Is  the  expansion  of  the  Anchorage                                                               
facility and obtaining the federal  funds for those INS detainees                                                               
- is  that something  that should be  settled, in  case something                                                               
...  untoward [should]  happen  to ...  these  bills through  the                                                               
process,  to  ensure  that  that  one  actually  does  come  into                                                               
effect?"                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM suggested that  Representative Stoltze may be                                                               
better suited to answer that  question.  Notwithstanding that, he                                                               
said  he would  recommend  that  "we just  keep  involved in  one                                                               
package."   He  added, "We  feel fairly  confident that  money is                                                               
going to come our way."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH interjected, "But only  if [HB] 134 passes in its                                                               
present shape.  Is that correct?"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM  said he  thinks  that  the federal  funding                                                               
would be received anyway.  He  added, "Really, this is whether we                                                               
can  receive   it  and   present  it   to  the   legislature  for                                                               
authorization for construction."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH said,  "So, you  mean that  the State  of Alaska                                                               
will  get the  federal funds  for  construction of  the INS  jail                                                               
expansion of Anchorage, whether we pass a law or not?"                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM clarified  that it  is [DOC's]  anticipation                                                               
that the  two separate bodies  [the U.S. Congress and  the Alaska                                                               
State Legislature] will be doing  their work and working toward a                                                               
common purpose.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BERKOWITZ,  regarding   the  subject   of  those                                                               
individuals   who  are   going   to  be   detained,  stated   his                                                               
understanding  that the  current  practice is  to  ship them  out                                                               
pretty quickly, primarily  to Portland.  He asked,  "Are we going                                                               
to be  holding them longer  in state?"   He indicated  that there                                                               
are "attorney access issues" he must raise.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM reiterated  that the  U.S. Marshals  predict                                                               
increased activity,  and he noted  that the anticipation  is that                                                               
those held  in the  Anchorage area  will be  there longer.   Most                                                               
detainees go to  the detention center in Seattle, and  then on to                                                               
Portland.  Currently,  he noted that there is a  contract to hold                                                               
50 prisoners statewide.  At any  given time, he said, there is an                                                               
average of  80-90 in the system  - currently that number  is 110,                                                               
which exceeds  the contract by over  double.  He opined  that the                                                               
project [proposal for] 200 beds is reasonable.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  asked,   regarding  those  individuals                                                               
[being detained],  if [the state] is  paid a nightly cost  by the                                                               
feds, and is "making money on it."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM  answered yes.   He said that  is essentially                                                               
how the cost of staffing the expansion will be covered.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2635                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to adopt  [Conceptual Amendment 2], a                                                               
set of  four written  amendments that had  been presented  on one                                                               
page,  with  three handwritten  changes.    With the  handwritten                                                               
changes,  Conceptual  Amendment  2   read  as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided, but some text formatting changed]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #1:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     HB 134 is amended on Page 2, line 5, to read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          (b) The Department of Corrections, not later than                                                                     
     July  1, 2008,  may enter  into an  agreement with  the                                                                    
     Municipality  of Seward  for expansion  of an  existing                                                                    
     facility by up to 400 beds.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #2:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     HB 134 is amended on Page 2, line 6, to read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
         (c) The authorizations given by (a) and (b) of                                                                         
     this section are subject to the following conditions:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #3:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     HB 134 is amended on Page 2, line 21, to read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          ...$14,600 a bed for the Fairbanks, Anchorage,                                                                        
     and   Seward  facilities,   with   an  adjustment   for                                                                    
     inflation for the Seward costs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #4:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     HB 134 is amended on Page 2, line 22, to read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          (4) Expansion of the existing facility in Seward                                                                      
     is conditional  upon the  Municipality of  Seward doing                                                                    
     the following to the satisfaction  of the Department of                                                                    
     Corrections:     making  land  available   for  housing                                                                    
     development.   Expansion  of the  existing facility  in                                                                    
     Seward is  also conditional upon the  Alaska Vocational                                                                    
     Technical  Center  developing  a  corrections  training                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2593                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ objected  for  purposes of  discussion.                                                               
He  asked  if  there  is  a  reason why  HB  134  is  limited  to                                                               
designated geographic  areas, rather  than giving  the department                                                               
the  authority to  expand facilities  that  exist throughout  the                                                               
state.   For example,  he said  he noticed  that the  Lemon Creek                                                               
Correctional Facility is not listed.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2579                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE responded  that [the designated geographic                                                               
areas were  chosen] based  upon the greatest  need and  "the most                                                               
economic prisons."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2559                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM  mentioned  studying   where  the  most  at-                                                               
capacity, at-risk facilities were,  and which facilities serve as                                                               
regional  gathering centers  for  prisoners  from outlying  small                                                               
communities.  He said, "And  clearly, we've got major problems at                                                               
Bethel and  Fairbanks, which  is why  those two  were put  on [a]                                                               
priority list."   He reiterated that [the proposal  to expand the                                                               
facility  in]  Anchorage is  based  on  the federal  government's                                                               
needs.   In response to  a question by  Representative Berkowitz,                                                               
he  said yes,  initially the  Spring Creek  Correctional Facility                                                               
was excluded for a reason  and [Conceptual Amendment 2] speaks to                                                               
that.   He explained, "We felt  the priority at this  time was to                                                               
put beds  in the  Anchorage area,  where the  prisoners originate                                                               
from,  rather  than doing  a  major  expansion [in]  an  outlying                                                               
area."   He mentioned future  years, but then  returned attention                                                               
to [Conceptual Amendment 2].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2485                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked whether  "Amendment #3"  of Conceptual                                                               
[Amendment  2] should  read $14,600  or should  read $11,000  [to                                                               
reflect Amendment 1].                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   answered,  "No,  that's  also   back  to                                                               
$11,000."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE stated,  "That  should  stay at  $14,600.                                                               
These  are  ...  smaller  expansions, and  they  don't  have  the                                                               
economy of the 1,200-bed facility, so  that needs to stay at that                                                               
higher number, unfortunately."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2449                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ recollected that  at one point there had                                                               
been  an  intention  to  expand  the  Spring  Creek  Correctional                                                               
Facility.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2438                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM  said  that  is   correct.    He  said  that                                                               
essentially, all  of the "dirt work"  has been done in  the area,                                                               
as well  as much of  the supporting infrastructure,  for example,                                                               
sewer  and water,  so many  of the  expenses normally  associated                                                               
with a project like that have been taken care of.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2422                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON,  speaking to  [Conceptual Amendment  2] as                                                               
it relates  to the Spring Creek  Correctional Facility, expounded                                                               
upon Commissioner Antrim's answer  by listing additional parts of                                                               
the facility  that are already  in place.   He said  the facility                                                               
was designed  with three  modules on  one side  and is  ready for                                                               
another three adjacent to them.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  noted that  the Spring  Creek Correctional                                                               
Facility  has  had  a problem  retaining  correctional  officers,                                                               
which he  said brings  up the  question of  whether there  may be                                                               
enough people  who want  to live  in an area  that is  not highly                                                               
populated.   He noted  that [Conceptual  Amendment 2]  would make                                                               
expansion of existing facility in  Seward conditional upon making                                                               
land available  for housing development.   He mentioned  that the                                                               
Alaska Vocational Technical Center  (AVTEC) in Seward is starting                                                               
a  pre-training program  for correctional  officers and  homeland                                                               
security [agents], and  those who train there  from other smaller                                                               
communities  may become  familiar  with Seward  during that  pre-                                                               
training [and may want to remain there].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2242                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  thinks [Conceptual Amendment 2]                                                               
is a good  idea.  Regarding the amendment, he  asked why there is                                                               
only an adjustment for inflation  in the Seward facility, but not                                                               
in the other facilities.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE replied  that that's  because there  is a                                                               
delayed date; [the expansion of  the existing facility in Seward]                                                               
is   conditional   upon  the   city   developing   some  of   the                                                               
infrastructure.  He  said he would love to see  a facility on the                                                               
[Kenai] Peninsula employ the residents there.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  referred  to  the  last  sentence  [of                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2],  which states that the  expansion of the                                                               
Seward  facility  would also  be  conditional  upon developing  a                                                               
correctional training  program.  He  said, "I'd hate to  see this                                                               
stymied  because they  refuse to  or couldn't  do something  like                                                               
that."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2140                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reiterated  that  Seward  is developing  a                                                               
program for training  homeland security agents, for  example.  He                                                               
said the city  is working with the  DOC in this effort.   He said                                                               
he thinks  [Conceptual Amendment 2] encourages  Seward to proceed                                                               
with that  program.  He  opined that the pre-training  program is                                                               
needed to  remedy a statewide  problem in  retaining correctional                                                               
officers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2088                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  ANTRIM said  he thinks  the point  of the  training                                                               
program  is  to  get  people to  consider  being  a  correctional                                                               
officer as a career move.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said he  understands  that.   He  said                                                               
there  would probably  be some  kind of  a fiscal  note regarding                                                               
this issue,  and he  said he  is just wondering  if some  kind of                                                               
direction [from  the legislature] requesting [Seward]  to do this                                                               
is necessary.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE responded  that he is not  sure that there                                                               
would be  a fiscal note,  because the facility trains  people for                                                               
jobs  and would  be  training people  to work  in  jobs that  pay                                                               
pretty well and that actually exist right in town.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER ANTRIM, in response  to a question by Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, said AVTEC is always  looking for new direction, so he                                                               
thinks that it will "grasp this  pretty quickly."  He referred to                                                               
wording  that had  been  deleted by  the  handwritten changes  to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2 before it  was presented to the committee:                                                               
"developing  economic  opportunities   in  the  Municipality  for                                                               
spousal employment of  facility staff."  He said that  would be a                                                               
tough thing  to ask of  the city, but  said he hopes  Seward will                                                               
work diligently to develop economic  opportunities for people [so                                                               
they will want to remain in that community].                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1988                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said the  city would  be happy  to develop                                                               
any kind of  employment base, but the foregoing  wording that was                                                               
omitted was "just going too far."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  noted  that  [because  that  wording  had                                                               
already been crossed out] the word  "and" should be added and the                                                               
"e" in  "Expansion" should be lower  case; therefore, ["Amendment                                                               
#4" of Conceptual Amendment 2] would read as follows:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Amendment #4                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     HB 134 is amended on Page 2, line 22, to read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          (4) Expansion of the existing facility in Seward                                                                      
     is conditional  upon the  Municipality of  Seward doing                                                                    
     the following to the satisfaction  of the Department of                                                                    
     Corrections:     making  land  available   for  housing                                                                    
     development and  expansion of the existing  facility in                                                                    
     Seward is  also conditional upon the  Alaska Vocational                                                                    
     Technical  Center  developing  a  corrections  training                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[There  was  no  motion  to  adopt  the  foregoing  amendment  to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2, but it was treated as adopted.]                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1930                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH indicated  that there  would be  changes to  the                                                               
fiscal  note  if  [Conceptual  Amendment   2,  as  amended]  were                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON referred to page  2, [beginning on] line 24                                                               
[of HB 134], which read as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     payments under the lease may not exceed $16,700 a bed                                                                      
       for the Bethel facility and $14,600 a bed for the                                                                        
     Fairbanks and Anchorage facilities;                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said the $14,600  is the same number as for                                                               
the Fairbanks facility, because of the  size of the facility.  He                                                               
explained that [Conceptual  Amendment 2, as amended]  would be to                                                               
"add Seward to Fairbanks and Anchorage."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH said,  "By adding  Seward,  you're changing  the                                                               
fiscal note."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said,  "I guess we are,  because what we're                                                               
doing  is  adding the  number  of  beds."    He added  that  it's                                                               
conditional.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  indicated that because much  of this does                                                               
not take  place until FY 08,  he doesn't expect it  to change the                                                               
accuracy of  the first part of  the fiscal note, although  it may                                                               
change the second part of the fiscal note.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1823                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  asked if  there  were  any other  questions  or                                                               
comments about [Conceptual Amendment 2, as amended].                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew his objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1815                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH announced  that the  motion to  adopt Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2 [as amended] was approved without objection.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1783                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM LECRONE, Business Agent,  Public Safety Employees Association                                                               
(PSEA), a retired  correctional officer, said it  is rewarding to                                                               
hear  the committee  discussing  the fiscal  responsibility of  a                                                               
public  prison, and  he offered  some comments.   He  related his                                                               
belief that incarcerating criminals  is a function of government,                                                               
not the private sector.  He  noted that in June 2002, Thomas Kane                                                               
[Assistant Director  for Information,  Policy and  Public Affairs                                                               
for the  U.S. Department  of Justice  Federal Bureau  of Prisons]                                                               
told  U.S.  Senator  Don  Nickles that  the  federal  bureau  had                                                               
concerns regarding  [the ability  of] private prisons  to confine                                                               
and manage medium- and high-security inmates.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LECRONE said  there are many statistics  regarding the higher                                                               
number  of assaults  in private  prisons,  both on  staff and  on                                                               
inmates.     He  noted  that   there  are   fiscal  repercussions                                                               
associated with a higher assault  rate.  Generally, he said, when                                                               
there is an  assault in a prison, local  law enforcement [becomes                                                               
involved]  and charges  are filed.   The  cost of  investigation,                                                               
prosecution, court  fees, appointed  attorney fees,  appeals, and                                                               
future incarceration fall to the  State of Alaska, whether it's a                                                               
private  or  public  prison;  therefore,  he  said,  it  behooves                                                               
everyone  to keep  assault rates  down.   "Obviously," he  added,                                                               
"experience proves we do it better in public facilities."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LECRONE  noted that  a  six-year  study done  in  California                                                               
showed that the public [prison]  sector had 11 escapes, while the                                                               
private  [prison] sector  had 200  escapes,  although it  managed                                                               
40,000 less  inmates.   Mr. Lecrone said  he hopes  the committee                                                               
will keep the security factors in  mind while looking at the cost                                                               
factors.  He said he appreciates [HB 134].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  informed  the  committee  that  Lieutenant  Dan                                                               
Lowden, from  the Department of  Public Safety, was  available to                                                               
answer questions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1510                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEE  HUBBARD  testified  that  she is  a  resident  of  Sterling,                                                               
Alaska, on  the Kenai Peninsula.   She said she supports  HB 134,                                                               
which she said is fiscally  competitive.  She emphasized that she                                                               
is comfortable knowing  that [the proposal] would  be under state                                                               
control.   She  told the  committee  that she  has many  concerns                                                               
about privatization  [of prisons].   Primarily, she  noted, there                                                               
are many statutes governing the  operation of public prisons, but                                                               
none governing the operation of private prisons.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.   HUBBARD  told   Representative   Seaton   that  she   likes                                                               
[Conceptual  Amendment  2].   She  said  the Kenai  Peninsula  is                                                               
always looking eagerly for any  kind of economic development, and                                                               
[HB 134] is a great idea.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUBBARD said  the pre-trial beds are  desperately needed now.                                                               
She added  that the  transportation costs  are enormous,  and [HB
134] will cut down on those  costs.  She concluded by saying that                                                               
other  testifiers  have  done  a better  job  of  expressing  her                                                               
feelings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1400                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  stated his appreciation of  Ms. Hubbard                                                               
traveling to Juneau to testify.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH  noted  that the  committee  had  also  received                                                               
emails from Ms. Hubbard, and he  complimented her on her job as a                                                               
citizen who keeps her eye on the legislature.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1361                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he appreciates the  analysis that Ms.                                                               
Hubbard provided the committee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1333                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that HB 134 was heard and held.                                                                       

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