Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

03/19/2019 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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03:05:06 PM Start
03:06:13 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
03:06:32 PM Commissioner, Department of Corrections
03:07:14 PM HCR4
03:13:24 PM HB50
05:01:46 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
           HB 50-ARREST;RELEASE;SENTENCING;PROBATION                                                                          
                  [Contains discussion of HB 51.]                                                                               
3:13:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 50,  "An  Act relating  to pretrial  release;                                                               
relating  to sentencing;  relating  to  treatment program  credit                                                               
toward  service  of  a  sentence  of  imprisonment;  relating  to                                                               
electronic  monitoring; amending  Rules  38.2  and 45(d),  Alaska                                                               
Rules  of  Criminal Procedure;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
3:14:31 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE, Director,  Criminal Division,  Department of  Law                                                               
(DOL),  relayed  that  HB  50  and HB  51  represent  an  ongoing                                                               
conversation  about  criminal  justice  reform in  the  State  of                                                               
Alaska.   He  stated that  the legislature  has been  considering                                                               
reform since  2014; statistics were presented  to the legislature                                                               
demonstrating   Alaska's   increasing  prison   population;   the                                                               
understanding was that  if Alaska continued in the  same path, it                                                               
would have  to build another  prison.  He  said that by  the year                                                               
2016, the legislature decided that  action was urgent; therefore,                                                               
it  passed sweeping  criminal  justice reform  in  order to  make                                                               
changes and  have them  be enacted  as quickly  as possible.   He                                                               
reported  that it  is  the  belief of  the  [Governor Michael  J.                                                               
Dunleavy]  administration  that the  action  was  premature.   He                                                               
pointed   out  the   following:     Alaska's  crime   rates  rose                                                               
dramatically in  the five-year  period -  25 percent  overall, 34                                                               
percent for  violent crime,  and 22  percent for  property crime;                                                               
however, these  statistics were only  through 2014.   After 2014,                                                               
there  was  a  decline  in   Alaska's  prison  population  and  a                                                               
reduction  in recidivism.   This  happened prior  to the  changes                                                               
enacted by Senate Bill 91  [passed during the Twenty-Ninth Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, 2015-2016].                                                                                                  
3:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  Mr. Skidmore  whether he  had any                                                               
notion  or  research  explaining  why  there  was  a  decline  in                                                               
recidivism at that time.                                                                                                        
MR. SKIDMORE replied  that he was not aware of  any such research                                                               
but  being involved  in the  criminal  justice system  throughout                                                               
that period,  he credited former  commissioner of  the Department                                                               
of Corrections (DOC),  Ron Taylor, for initiating  changes in the                                                               
way DOC  programs were handled.   Some of the  concepts discussed                                                               
by the  Alaska Criminal Justice Commission  (ACJC) [created under                                                               
Senate  Bill 64,  passed during  the  Twenty-Eighth Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, 2013-2014]  already were  being implemented  by DOC.                                                               
He reiterated  that there was  a decrease both in  recidivism and                                                               
the jail  population prior to  the passage and  implementation of                                                               
Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  if  Mr.  Skidmore attributes  the                                                               
decline  in  recidivism  circa  2014  primarily  to  DOC  related                                                               
MR. SKIDMORE responded  that he cannot definitively  say that the                                                               
programmatic  changes  were  the reason  the  decrease  occurred;                                                               
however, it represented a change in  the system, thus, could be a                                                               
potential  explanation.   He said  that he  is not  aware of  any                                                               
other changes in the system.                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  referred   to  a  7  percent   decline  in  the                                                               
recidivism rates  shown on the  slide [slide 3 of  the PowerPoint                                                               
presentation,  entitled  "Reentry  Services:  Promoting  Safer  &                                                               
Healthier Communities," presented during  the 3/14/19 House State                                                               
Affairs Standing  Committee meeting].   He explained that  on the                                                               
slide, the most recent year is  2015; however, the data shown for                                                               
[CY2015] on the  chart is based on data  from 2018, demonstrating                                                               
recidivism three years out from 2015.                                                                                           
MR.  SKIDMORE  answered  that   Co-Chair  Fields  explanation  is                                                               
correct.  Regardless of the  criteria used to define recidivism -                                                               
by arrests  or by convictions  - when evaluating  recidivism, one                                                               
must look at additional conduct into the future.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS offered that currently  it can be accurately said                                                               
that felony recidivism appears to  be declining steadily at least                                                               
into 2018, recognizing the three-year look-back.                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE  stated that  he cannot  report on  recidivism rates                                                               
for 2018 for the very reason  Co-Chair Fields offered - he cannot                                                               
predict  what will  happened in  the future.   He  said that  for                                                               
those people released today, he  does not know what offenses they                                                               
will be committing in the next three years.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  stated that recidivism appears  to be continuing                                                               
to decline currently.                                                                                                           
MR. SKIDMORE answered, "Yes."                                                                                                   
3:21:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL offered  that DOC is looking  at cohorts with                                                               
a  three-year look-back;  therefore, if  there was  a decline  in                                                               
2015, it  refers to  the recidivism of  people released  in 2012.                                                               
Anyone recidivating in 2018, is from the 2015 cohort.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked,  "Recidivism is  going  down,  but                                                               
crime  is going  up.   Does that  mean we  have a  whole new  ...                                                               
generation  of criminals  as  opposed to  the  old criminals  ...                                                               
repeating the stuff that they did in the past?"                                                                                 
MR.  SKIDMORE  replied   that  one  of  three   things  could  be                                                               
occurring:  1) a change in  what is considered as recidivism, for                                                               
example, decriminalizing what was  previously considered a crime;                                                               
2)  new people  coming  into the  correctional  system not  there                                                               
previously; or  3) crime rates  calculated based on  reports from                                                               
victims and not prosecutions.   Another explanation is that there                                                               
are fewer people  prosecuted or arrested, but  the greater amount                                                               
of crime  is based on victim  reports.  More crime  is occurring,                                                               
but less people are being held accountable.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  mentioned  that the  report,  entitled  "Alaska                                                               
Recidivism and Reentry," [not included  in the committee packet],                                                               
makes   the  distinction   between  new   crimes  and   technical                                                               
violations; there is a steep decline in both.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  for clarification:   she  has heard                                                               
testimony both that there is a  decline in crimes and an increase                                                               
in crimes.                                                                                                                      
3:24:43 PM                                                                                                                    
QUINLAN   STEINER,  Director,   Public  Defender   Agency  (PDA),                                                               
Department   of   Administration   (DOA),  responded   that   the                                                               
recidivism data  that was presented  to ACJC was based  upon data                                                               
published by DOC.  The  overall recidivism rate had been hovering                                                               
in the  upper 60s; in 2013  it was reported to  be 67.02 percent.                                                               
The cohort  with 67.02 percent  recidivism was released  in 2013;                                                               
the  recidivism  data was  measured  using  the subsequent  three                                                               
years; therefore,  the data  overlapped criminal  justice reform.                                                               
He  said that  in 2014,  the overall  recidivism rate  dropped to                                                               
65.07 percent,  and in  2015, it  dropped to  61.33 percent.   He                                                               
relayed that  the 2015 cohort was  substantially supervised under                                                               
the  parole  and probation  reform  under  Senate  Bill 91.    He                                                               
offered that  the indicators are  that the decline  started under                                                               
the early stage of reform and  has continued with an even sharper                                                               
drop in  2015.  He maintained  that the next cohort  that will be                                                               
measured  will  have  been  fully  supervised  under  the  reform                                                               
measures [of Senate Bill 91].                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  suggested that  the  2015  rate of  61.33                                                               
percent had  nothing to  do with  criminal justice  reform unless                                                               
there was an element of reform separate from Senate Bill 91.                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  maintained that  the  2015  rate on  the  chart                                                               
reflects  crimes that  have or  have not  occurred through  2018,                                                               
because of the three-year cohort period.                                                                                        
MR.  SKIDMORE reiterated  Mr. Steiner's  testimony  that in  2015                                                               
there  was an  even  sharper decline,  and  probation and  parole                                                               
[violations] were  counted in the  recidivism rate. He  said that                                                               
HB  51 would  alter the  circumstances  under which  a person  is                                                               
arrested  for  probation  violations; some  violations  would  be                                                               
handled  through  administrative sanctions.    He  said that  the                                                               
number  of administrative  sanctions is  significant -  20,000 in                                                               
the first  two years.   He relayed that  administrative sanctions                                                               
were  not counted  in  the  recidivism rates  that  have shown  a                                                               
decline, because they  were not arrests.   Recidivism was defined                                                               
as  being arrested  for a  violation.   He maintained  that there                                                               
were many violations, for which  there previously would have been                                                               
arrests,  that now  are not  arrests;  therefore, the  recidivism                                                               
appears to have  declined.  He asserted that in  order to compare                                                               
recidivism rates,  the administrative sanctions would  need to be                                                               
considered  along  with all  the  arrests  that  were made.    He                                                               
offered that  there were  reductions in  recidivism prior  to the                                                               
[administrative sanction] changes;  therefore, there were changes                                                               
made  in the  system that  were  effective.   He emphasized  that                                                               
there  were  some   measures  under  Senate  Bill   91  that  the                                                               
legislature - with all good intentions - rushed to adopt.                                                                       
3:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS clarified  that cohort year 2015  (CY2015) on the                                                               
chart  represents 2015-2018  because  of  the three-year  window;                                                               
therefore,  it  does  include activity  during  criminal  justice                                                               
reform.  He added that CY2012 represents the years 2012-2015.                                                                   
MR. SKIDMORE continued  by saying that to address  the concept of                                                               
"pretrial release"  he will  discuss the  changes that  were made                                                               
and the intent  of the governor's bill.  He  mentioned that there                                                               
were  reports   that  the   pretrial  population   had  increased                                                               
dramatically - by as much as  80 percent.  He maintained that the                                                               
higher rate included the number of  bed days used as the pretrial                                                               
detainment number.  If a trial  is delayed for a prisoner and the                                                               
number  of detainment  days  doubles, then  it  appears that  the                                                               
pretrial  population has  doubled.   He  maintained  that the  80                                                               
percent  increase does  not signify  an increase  in individuals,                                                               
but only an 80 percent increase in the number of bed days.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  what the  increase in  the number  of                                                               
people was,  separate from the bed  day count.  He  mentioned the                                                               
possibility of increased  stay due to the courts  being closed on                                                               
MR. SKIDMORE  replied that he did  not know.  He  maintained that                                                               
other  factors were  not considered  in  the pretrial  detainment                                                               
numbers.   He  said that  to adjust  the number  of the  pretrial                                                               
population, the state  decided to release more  people from jail;                                                               
and  to do  so,  the state  tried  to  adopt the  use  of a  risk                                                               
assessment tool.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX expressed her desire  to know the answer to                                                               
Representative  Wool's question  regarding  the  increase in  the                                                               
number  of   individuals  in  the   pretrial  population.     She                                                               
maintained that she  would like to see the  statistics backing up                                                               
his analysis before considering statutory changes.                                                                              
MR. SKIDMORE answered  that the precise numbers would  have to be                                                               
requested from  DOC; it  is an excellent  question and  should be                                                               
3:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE  continued by saying  that the risk  assessment tool                                                               
that the  state wanted to adopt  was one that looked  at a series                                                               
of  questions that  could be  answered from  a person's  criminal                                                               
history to  determine his/her risk  level.  The risk  level score                                                               
was then  tied to what  happened with  the pretrial release.   He                                                               
added that  the tool had  not been  developed by the  time Senate                                                               
Bill 91 passed;  therefore, the presumptions for  release on bail                                                               
returned to the  presumptions before Senate Bill 91.   The reason                                                               
that occurred is  because the tool that was  developed was flawed                                                               
in several ways.                                                                                                                
MR. SKIDMORE began  with slide 1 of  the PowerPoint presentation,                                                               
entitled  "Alaska Pretrial  Risk  Assessment,"  [included in  the                                                               
committee packet] and relayed that  the slides presented are from                                                               
a  presentation  developed by  the  Crime  and Justice  Institute                                                               
(CJI) at  the Community Resources  for Justice (CRJ)  to describe                                                               
the  pretrial  assessment  tool  developed  in  June  2017.    He                                                               
commented that June 2017 was after Senate Bill 91 was passed.                                                                   
MR. SKIDMORE  turned to  slide 2,  entitled "New  Criminal Arrest                                                               
Scale,"  and  said  that  CJI developed  a  series  of  questions                                                               
specifically for Alaska using Alaska  data.  The questions looked                                                               
at six risk  factors:  the age at first  arrest; the total number                                                               
of prior  arrests in  the past  five years;  the total  number of                                                               
prior convictions  in the past  three years; the total  number of                                                               
prior probation  sentences; the total  number of  prior probation                                                               
sentences in the  past five years; and the total  number of prior                                                               
incarcerations in the past three years.   He pointed out that the                                                               
questions  were  limited  because  the  totality  of  a  person's                                                               
criminal history  was not considered.   He maintained  that three                                                               
arrests in  the past five  years was  weighted the same  as 20-30                                                               
arrests  in the  past five  years.   He pointed  out that  two or                                                               
three convictions in  the past three years was  weighted the same                                                               
as 20-25 convictions.                                                                                                           
MR. SKIDMORE  moved on to  slide 3,  entitled "NCA Rate  by Total                                                               
Score," and  explained that NCA  stands for new  criminal arrest.                                                               
The chart shows that  of people with a total risk  score of 0, 14                                                               
percent had an  NCA; of those with  a total risk score  of 1, the                                                               
NCA rate was  23.8 percent; of those with the  maximum total risk                                                               
score of 10, 58.1 percent were released [and had an NCA].                                                                       
MR. SKIDMORE  referred to  slide 4, entitled  "NCA Rate  by Total                                                               
Score Ranges," and  stated that under Senate Bill  91, there were                                                               
three categories of risk -  low, medium, and high; however, after                                                               
CJI performed the  risk assessment, which was done  after the law                                                               
passed,  it  found  that  Alaska's risk  scores  fell  into  five                                                               
categories,  not three.   He  turned  to slide  5, entitled  "NCA                                                               
Total Score,"  and said  that because  the three  risk categories                                                               
were  already  in  statute,  the assessment  results  had  to  be                                                               
"crammed" into  those three  categories created  by statute.   He                                                               
detailed the three categories:  those  with a very low score of 0                                                               
- 3,219 individuals  - were combined with those with  a low score                                                               
of 1-5  - 7,002  individuals -  to create  a new  "low" category;                                                               
those with  a moderate score  of 6-8  - 3,808 individuals  - were                                                               
combined with  those with a  moderately high  score of 9  - 2,116                                                               
individuals  - to  create a  new "moderate"  category; the  third                                                               
category -  labeled "high" -  consisted of the  3,043 individuals                                                               
with the maximum score of 10.                                                                                                   
3:38:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  referred  to  slide 4  and  suggested  an                                                               
alternate grouping:  a 0  score would remain categorized as "very                                                               
low";  1-8 as  "moderate"; and  9-10 as  "high."   She maintained                                                               
such  a grouping  would  have  made more  sense  and avoided  the                                                               
problems that were encountered.                                                                                                 
MR. SKIDMORE  responded that he  understood her point, but  he is                                                               
merely  describing  how  the  categorizations   were  done.    He                                                               
referred  to the  chart on  slide 3  and pointed  out the  dotted                                                               
lines over  the scores of  1 and 8 and  the solid lines  over the                                                               
scores of 5 and 9.   He explained that everything below the score                                                               
5  solid line  is categorized  as "low";  everything between  the                                                               
score  5 and  9 solid  lines  is categorized  as "moderate";  the                                                               
dotted lines show  the two additional categories - 1-5  and 6-8 -                                                               
resulting  from the  risk  assessment.   He  reiterated that  the                                                               
assessment tool  was developed  after Senate  Bill 91  was passed                                                               
creating three categories; thus,  the five categories were forced                                                               
into  three categories.   He  maintained that  among the  studies                                                               
cited justifying  risk assessments, a  2011 report by  the Bureau                                                               
of Justice  Assistance (BJA) [entitled  "State of the  Science of                                                               
Pretrial  Risk  Assessment,"  by   Cynthia  A.  Mamalian,  Ph.D.,                                                               
document not  provided] discusses pretrial risk  assessment tools                                                               
and other  states that have  used them - Kentucky,  Virginia, and                                                               
Ohio.    In  each  of  these  states,  the  assessment  tool  was                                                               
developed,  implemented, and  tested in  one county  in order  to                                                               
validate and adjust it before implementing it statewide.                                                                        
3:40:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW asked for a  copy of the study validating the                                                               
pretrial risk assessment tool.                                                                                                  
MR.  SKIDMORE replied  that  the study  could  be made  available                                                               
through the ACJC.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW  asked whether having  that study would  be a                                                               
benefit to the committee members for clarification.                                                                             
MR. SKIDMORE  expressed his belief  that policy makers  should be                                                               
looking at as much data as possible when implementing policies.                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS offered  to  bring  Susanne Dipietro  [Executive                                                               
Director,  Alaska Judicial  Council  (AJC),  Alaska Court  System                                                               
(ACS)] back before the committee  to discuss the broader criminal                                                               
justice issues.   He pointed out  the summary of HB  50, included                                                               
in the committee packet.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  referred to  slide 4  and asked  whether his                                                               
understanding is  correct that the  first bar in the  chart shows                                                               
that 14 percent of the people  in the "very low" category - those                                                               
with 0 NCAs - will commit a new  crime.  He gave an example:  out                                                               
of 100 people, 14 would commit a new crime.                                                                                     
MR.  SKIDMORE  responded that  it  would  be  described as  a  14                                                               
percent chance  that a person  being released would commit  a new                                                               
crime.   He  agreed that  in order  to arrive  at the  14 percent                                                               
chance, out  of 100 people,  14 would have  had to have  been re-                                                               
arrested.    He reiterated  that  it  would  be a  "new  criminal                                                               
arrest" - or NCA.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL mentioned  that he  understands that  people                                                               
with different criminal pasts tend  to follow certain patterns of                                                               
behavior;  statistics demonstrate  that  for  someone who  hasn't                                                               
committed a crime  for five or six years after  release, the odds                                                               
of  recidivism is  low.    He offered  that  since  the range  of                                                               
weights for the risk factor is small  - 0-3 - the total scores of                                                               
9  and 10  would  be quite  similar.   He  pointed  out that  the                                                               
difference  in the  [NCA] rates  for scores  9 and  10 is  only 5                                                               
percent; therefore,  of all  the percentages on  the bars  in the                                                               
chart, those  are the  two closest,  and the  scores are  the two                                                               
closest, as well.                                                                                                               
MR.  SKIDMORE  responded   that  the  9s  were   grouped  in  the                                                               
"moderate" not "high" category.                                                                                                 
3:45:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked  Mr. Steiner why he was not  at the hearing                                                               
in person.                                                                                                                      
MR. STEINER  replied that  he requested  travel for  the hearing,                                                               
and the  request was denied.   He stated, "I've been  told that I                                                               
traveled enough  to Juneau,  and that I  couldn't travel  for the                                                               
rest   of   the   session    actually,   so   I'm   participating                                                               
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked whether  Mr. Steiner  has been  allowed to                                                               
travel for other committee hearings on similar bills this year.                                                                 
MR. STEINER  responded that he  traveled twice at the  expense of                                                               
the state -  once to attend an ACJC meeting;  he also traveled on                                                               
behalf  of ACJC  - and  paid  for by  ACJC  - to  attend a  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee hearing.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  expressed his  belief that  it is  important for                                                               
Mr. Steiner to be present for the hearing.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked Mr. Steiner,  as the head of PDA, who                                                               
he must  ask for  permission to  travel and  who denied  him that                                                               
MR. STEINER  answered that  he makes his  travel requests  to the                                                               
DOA.   He was told that  his travel request was  forwarded to the                                                               
governor's  office  and  denied  by  [Chief  of  Staff  Tuckerman                                                               
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked Mr. Steiner  to offer his comments  on any                                                               
issues related to the proposed legislation.                                                                                     
MR. STEINER  explained the reasoning  behind dividing  the scores                                                               
into  the categories  shown [on  slide 5]:   the  score groupings                                                               
were related  to the  rates of likelihood  of failure;  the score                                                               
itself does  not designate  the risk but  is associated  with the                                                               
risk.    He  offered  that  the real  explanation  is  much  more                                                               
complicated  than  has  been presented  and  suggested  committee                                                               
members  consult  professionals  for  a  full  explanation.    He                                                               
offered to  provide more information.   He stated  that attorneys                                                               
are reporting that their clients  are getting released in greater                                                               
numbers and succeeding under  Pretrial Enforcement Division (PED)                                                               
[DOC] supervision; the data backs that  up.  He said that the re-                                                               
arrest data  produced by  the University  of Alaska  (UA) clearly                                                               
supports the view that re-arrests  are not increasing as a result                                                               
of [criminal  justice] reform;  in fact, the  trend is  flat; the                                                               
number of arrests  before reform, during the  reform process, and                                                               
post-reform  has not  changed.   He  maintained  that the  larger                                                               
number  of people  being  released is  an  indicator that  people                                                               
being released in  greater numbers are low risk and  succeed.  He                                                               
added that although the data meant  to verify the validity of the                                                               
tool is  not complete -  and even ambiguous  at times -  there is                                                               
some indications that NCAs are  declining.  The percentage of the                                                               
population  in  custody is  smaller  for  non-violent cases  than                                                               
previously.   He asserted  that all  these results  indicate that                                                               
the tool and  the pretrial reforms may be doing  what is intended                                                               
- releasing  low risk  people who  will not  reoffend.   He added                                                               
that [pretrial] supervision  is helping.  He  suggested that what                                                               
is  contained  in  HB  50  undermines  those  efforts  and  those                                                               
measures.    He  offered  to detail  the  provisions  that  would                                                               
undermine the stated goals.                                                                                                     
3:51:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STEINER relayed that HB  50 attempts to address a presumption                                                               
previously  found unconstitutional  -  "no  bail being  necessary                                                               
depending on the  level of offense."  He maintained  that the new                                                               
presumption under  HB 50 -  "somebody will fail on  bail provided                                                               
there's  a  certain  charge"  - slightly  alters  the  one  found                                                               
unconstitutional  but  is  almost  identical.   He  continued  by                                                               
saying  that  Section 4  eliminates  the  "clear and  convincing"                                                               
standard for  setting monetary bail  for someone; the  prior bail                                                               
system had  a "preponderance" standard,  which made it  very easy                                                               
with any  limited showing for  the court  to set a  monetary bail                                                               
for  individuals.   He maintained  that reverting  to a  monetary                                                               
bail  system would  result in  people  being incarcerated  simply                                                               
because they  are poor.  He  stated that the ACJC  found that the                                                               
primary factor  for release was monetary,  not risk-based; adding                                                               
the requirement for a third-party  custodian resulted in people -                                                               
without  a  support  network  and  who  are  poor  -  finding  it                                                               
difficult  to  be  released.    He  asserted  that  HB  50  would                                                               
eliminate the pretrial risk assessment  that was aiding in making                                                               
the  determinations [for  release],  which appears  to have  been                                                               
3:55:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  relayed that the  fiscal note (FN)  analysis for                                                               
HB 50  [Identifier: 0030-DOA-PDA-01-18-19, OMB  Component Number:                                                               
1631] states  that elimination of  pretrial services  will result                                                               
in   increased    litigation,   case   processing    costs,   and                                                               
incarceration.   He expressed his belief  that incarcerating low-                                                               
risk  offenders   increases  criminality.     He   asked  whether                                                               
eliminating   pretrial  services,   rather  than   reforming  the                                                               
pretrial risk assessment tool, would increase criminality.                                                                      
MR.  STEINER opined,  "I think  that's exactly  what the  risk is                                                               
here."  He  continued by saying that as you  hold low-risk people                                                               
in jail for even 24 hours,  it increases their recidivism.  It is                                                               
very easy to sever someone from  his/her job and family in a very                                                               
short period.  A person who works  at a job, in which not showing                                                               
up once or  twice can cause the  loss of that job,  can lose that                                                               
job  quickly.   He maintained  that the  fundamental question  is                                                               
this:   "Are  you  going  to hold  people  in  jail because  they                                                               
[don't] have money  or are you going hold people  in jail because                                                               
they present a  risk?"  He offered  that HB 50 reverts  to an old                                                               
system that eliminates reevaluation of  the bail terms based upon                                                               
one's inability to pay.  He  emphasized, "How much money you have                                                               
and how  that affects you on  bail is part of  the bail statute."                                                               
He maintained that  the theory of monetary bail is  that one will                                                               
reform his/her  behavior because his/her  money is at stake.   He                                                               
said  that  not  being  able   to  reevaluate  bail  when  it  is                                                               
determined that  someone doesn't have  enough money to  post bail                                                               
does not  make much  sense.   He relayed that  the data  shows no                                                               
difference in  outcomes between unsecured bail  and secured bail,                                                               
therefore,  poverty does  not affect  the outcome.   He  asserted                                                               
that  a fundamentally  fair system  does  not incarcerate  people                                                               
because they are poor.                                                                                                          
3:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE LOVELL,  University of Washington,  stated that  he endorses                                                               
Mr. Steiner's  testimony; Mr. Steiner  is positioned to  know the                                                               
details  about how  pretrial bail  and  pretrial risk  assessment                                                               
work  in Alaska.   He  warned against  focusing too  much on  the                                                               
pretrial  risk  assessment  instrument  and  not  enough  on  the                                                               
principles behind  successful use of  pretrial release.   He said                                                               
that King County  [Washington] was able to  decrease its [prison]                                                               
population by  30 percent  without relying  on a  risk assessment                                                               
but  by adopting  various policies,  procedures, and  principles,                                                               
which he summarized  by saying, "Don't lock people  up unless you                                                               
have  a good  reason to,  unless they  fail before  unreleased or                                                               
they  commit a  violent offense."   He  maintained that  could be                                                               
done  with or  without  relying on  the instrument.    It is  the                                                               
process, the  procedure, the values, and  the communication among                                                               
the players that determine a  successful or unsuccessful outcome.                                                               
He said that  whatever risk assessment technique that  is used or                                                               
purchased,  it is  the local  process  that will  drive down  the                                                               
numbers [of prisoners] and maintain  community safety at the same                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  shared  that  the  FN for  HB  50  projects  an                                                               
increased inmate count of 205 people per day.                                                                                   
3:58:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  for  an  overview of  the  HB 50  as                                                               
proposed before addressing the details.                                                                                         
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  mentioned that one  of the  impacts of HB  50 is                                                               
increased inmate  count; tied to  this impact is the  proposal to                                                               
transfer inmates  out of state due  to the increased number.   He                                                               
asked  to hear  public  interest issues  associated with  sending                                                               
inmates out of state to for-profit institutions.                                                                                
3:59:16 PM                                                                                                                    
VERI  DI  SUVERO,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Public  Interest                                                               
Research Group  (AKPIRG), referred  to an opinion  editorial (op-                                                               
ed)  piece  co-authored  by  AKPRIG  ["Budget  benefits  Arduin's                                                               
friends,  not  Alaskans," by  Kevin  McGee  and Veri  di  Suvero,                                                               
Anchorage  Daily News,  3/5/19],  which focused  on the  proposed                                                             
budget for  DOC, stating  that most  funding allocations  for DOC                                                               
would  be  cut  or  maintained  except  for  the  "Out  of  State                                                               
Contractual" budget line, which  would be increased from $300,000                                                               
to over  $17 million -  extending the private prison  industry in                                                               
Alaska  to out-of-state  private prisons.   She  said that  along                                                               
with  the  governor,  the  budget   was  authored  by  Office  of                                                               
Management & Budget (OMB) Director  Donna Arduin.  Ms. Arduin has                                                               
very close  ties to the  private prison industry and  to specific                                                               
private prisons;  the proposal to move  incarcerated Alaskans out                                                               
of  state would  serve  to benefit  her, not  Alaskans.   Ms.  Di                                                               
Suvero stated  that it  is well  documented that  private prisons                                                               
increase recidivism  rates, bring gangs  back to Alaska,  and are                                                               
detrimental  to Alaska  safety.   She maintained  that increasing                                                               
the prison  population 205 inmates  per day,  prompting prisoners                                                               
to  be  moved out  of  state,  would  be unfortunate  for  Alaska                                                               
communities, as  well as Alaska's  budget, since  private prisons                                                               
have not been shown to decrease costs.                                                                                          
4:03:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE  reviewed the "HB  50 Pretrial  Release Highlights,"                                                               
[included in  the committee  packet] and said  HB 50  would shift                                                               
the time for  arraignment; instead of being within  24 hours, the                                                               
proposed  legislation would  provide greater  discretion allowing                                                               
48 hours  in some instances.   He  explained that this  change is                                                               
designed for those  few cases that are complicated;  for cases in                                                               
which  a person  is  unavailable or  information  is still  being                                                               
gathered;  or  to  give prosecutors  more  discretion  to  manage                                                               
weekend and holiday arraignments.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  stated that  statute now reads  "24 hours"                                                               
and  asked  whether the  circumstances  that  Mr. Skidmore  cited                                                               
would  not  be  included  under  the  "compelling  circumstances"                                                               
currently in statute [AS 12.25.150(a)].                                                                                         
MR.   SKIDMORE  replied,   "No."     He  said   that  "compelling                                                               
circumstances" refer  to the time  for setting bail, not  for the                                                               
time  of arraignment.   He  explained by  giving an  example:   A                                                               
person  is arraigned  for assault  in the  fourth degree  because                                                               
he/she injured  someone.   The extent  of the  injury is  not yet                                                               
known.   Additional time could be  requested to set bail  in this                                                               
case because  of the presence  of compelling  circumstances; that                                                               
is,  injuries are  far more  extensive than  originally believed.                                                               
Instead of filing  a misdemeanor assault 4, it  may be determined                                                               
to be  a higher  level of assault  or even a  murder charge.   He                                                               
maintained  that  the  change  from  24  hours  to  48  hours  is                                                               
regarding arraignment, not setting bail.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  referred to Section  2 of HB 50,  [page 1,                                                               
line  13,  to   page  2,  line  1]  and   cited  current  statute                                                               
[AS.25.150(a)] which read  in part:  "A person  arrested shall be                                                               
taken before a judge or  magistrate without unnecessary delay and                                                               
in  any event  within 24  hours after  arrest, absent  compelling                                                               
circumstances ...."  She offered  that it appears to be referring                                                               
to arraignment, not bail.                                                                                                       
MR.  SKIDMORE  replied  that Representative  LeDoux  is  correct;                                                               
there  appears to  be  a provision  allowing  alternate hours  in                                                               
certain circumstances.   He added  that the statute  also states,                                                               
"delay in  the transmittal  of that report  to the  parties ...",                                                               
which refers  to the  report that  discusses the  risk assessment                                                               
but  does  not include  the  ability  to  adjust for  Sundays  or                                                               
4:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SKIDMORE,  in  addressing  pretrial  services,  stated  that                                                               
additional  monitoring for  defendants pretrial  has been  widely                                                               
regarded as appropriate; having  supervision by DOC provided more                                                               
tools  to the  courts.   He  offered that  HB 50  is designed  to                                                               
provide  greater  discretion  to   the  courts  to  identify  the                                                               
appropriate circumstances.  He mentioned  that he agreed with Mr.                                                               
Steiner's testimony that monetary bail  should not be the primary                                                               
or only  way of setting conditions  of release.  He  said that HB
50  would  shift the  responsibility  for  the pretrial  services                                                               
within DOC, thus, allowing it to better manage its resources.                                                                   
4:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked about the  status of monetary bail.  He                                                               
asked if  the ability to  pay is  still a criterion  for pretrial                                                               
MR. SKIDMORE responded that under  current law, it is possible to                                                               
set monetary  bail; however,  the law also  says that  if someone                                                               
cannot  or  has  not  posted bail,  he/she  is  afforded  another                                                               
hearing in which  the court must alter the  conditions of release                                                               
to give the person greater opportunity to be released from jail.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL cited an article  in the Anchorage Daily News                                                             
[3/7/19]  about  a  woman  who  was  arrested,  and  because  she                                                               
couldn't pay  the $500 bail, was  held in jail for  three months.                                                               
He asked whether that occurs.                                                                                                   
MR. SKIDMORE  answered that he  cannot comment on that  case, but                                                               
in answer  to the  question about monetary  bail, he  said, "Yes,                                                               
monetary bail can be set."   He offered that the woman being held                                                               
for  three months  seems unusual  because current  law stipulates                                                               
that  there  must  be  another  bail hearing  in  the  event  the                                                               
defender cannot  post bail, and  the judge is required  to change                                                               
the condition to facilitate release from jail.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked whether currently the  second hearing                                                               
before the judge must happen within a certain amount of time.                                                                   
MR. SKIDMORE,  after consulting the statutes,  confirmed that the                                                               
hearing must occur within 48 hours.                                                                                             
4:12:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SKIDMORE continued reviewing  the pretrial release highlights                                                               
to  address video-teleconference  ("video-conference").   He said                                                               
that  currently by  law video-teleconferencing  is  only used  in                                                               
very  limited  circumstances.   The  proposed  legislation  would                                                               
encourage greater  use of video-teleconferencing in  all pretrial                                                               
court  hearings,  thus,  reducing the  amount  of  transportation                                                               
between  jail facilities  and courthouses.    He maintained  that                                                               
doing so would have multiple  beneficial efforts both in costs to                                                               
troopers  of   transporting  defendants   and  in   reducing  the                                                               
likelihood of contraband coming into the facility.                                                                              
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked for  the reason  why incentivizing                                                               
video-conferencing for pretrial hearings  has not been previously                                                               
proposed or  adopted and why it  was not included in  Senate Bill                                                               
54 [passed  during the Thirtieth Alaska  State Legislature, 2017-                                                               
2018] or Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                        
MR. SKIDMORE responded that he does  why know why it had not been                                                               
included in  previous bills.  He  said that it is  a concept that                                                               
has been  discussed among criminal justice  stakeholders for some                                                               
time.   He offered that  one benefit  of an in-person  meeting is                                                               
that it  gives the defense  lawyers an opportunity to  meet their                                                               
clients.    He  suggested  that some  may  have  resisted  video-                                                               
conferencing because they don't like  change.  He maintained that                                                               
it is  DOL's position that encouraging  video-teleconferencing is                                                               
appropriate, therefore, is included in the proposed legislation.                                                                
4:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel,  Office  of  the  Administrative                                                               
Director,  Alaska Court  System (ACS),  replied that  the concept                                                               
for  using  video-conferencing for  pretrial  hearing  is one  in                                                               
which  the Alaska  Supreme Court  is extremely  interested.   She                                                               
said that ACS has court  rules regarding it, which are constantly                                                               
being  reviewed;  the  criminal   rules  committee,  which  makes                                                               
recommendations  to the  supreme court,  has examined  this issue                                                               
several  times;  not  everyone  agrees with  the  use  of  video-                                                               
conferencing.   She  stated that  there are  certain hearings  in                                                               
which  defendants  need  to  see   witnesses  who  are  providing                                                               
evidence or testifying against them.   She offered that there are                                                               
many issues in play, and  recently the supreme court faced making                                                               
the decision of  which pretrial hearing would  be appropriate for                                                               
video-conferencing.  Differing arguments  were presented, and the                                                               
supreme  court  ultimately  adopted   a  rule  requiring  certain                                                               
pretrial hearings  to occur  by video-conference.   Under  HB 50,                                                               
DOL  has suggested  that others  may as  well.   She acknowledged                                                               
that there are many logistical,  broadband, and equipment issues.                                                               
She  added  that there  are  issues  with DOC  facilities  having                                                               
defendants  appear; there  must be  a correctional  officer in  a                                                               
designated room; and there must  be separate phones lines for the                                                               
defense attorney to  communicate with the defendant.   She stated                                                               
that ACS  has installed  the needed equipment  in all  the jails;                                                               
however,  there  are  equipment  failures  and  other  logistical                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   STORY   asked   whether   a   person   has   the                                                               
constitutional right to appear in person.                                                                                       
MS.   MEADE   answered   that    in   many   cases   the   answer                                                               
is "yes,"  and in  other cases the  answer is  "not necessarily."                                                               
She explained that  for trial and for hearings  in which evidence                                                               
is  presented, a  defendant has  the right  to appear  in person.                                                               
She  continued by  saying  that for  the  other proceedings,  the                                                               
court must  decide when  physical presence  is required  and when                                                               
video presence  is enough.   She offered  that the  difference of                                                               
opinion on  this matter is  the reason video-conferencing  is not                                                               
used "wholesale" for every single pretrial hearing.                                                                             
4:18:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked,  "With  the advent  of the  supreme                                                               
court  now   saying  that  there's  certain   hearings  that  the                                                               
defendant shall  appear by videoconference, do  you actually need                                                               
this or ..."                                                                                                                    
MS.  MEADE replied  that the  supreme court  stipulated that  the                                                               
defendant  shall appear  by video-conference  if equipment  is in                                                               
place  and if  it is  logistically feasible.   She  expressed her                                                               
belief that the proposed legislation  states the following:  "Not                                                               
only shall  certain hearings be  ... held  by video when  we have                                                               
the logistics in place, but other  ones also may ... if the court                                                               
orders in specific circumstances."                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked,  "Couldn't  the court  order it  in                                                               
specific circumstances right now if it wanted to?"                                                                              
MS. MEADE replied  that it is not entirely clear.   She explained                                                               
that in  some instances, the  defendant has the right  to request                                                               
to be physically present.                                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  whether  there   are  arguments                                                               
against video-conferencing beyond the logistical concerns.                                                                      
MS. MEADE answered, "Yes, there are  pros and cons."  She offered                                                               
that Mr. Steiner could articulate them better than she.                                                                         
MR. STEINER  stated that the  criminal rules  committee discussed                                                               
at  great length  appearance  [for  hearings] and  transportation                                                               
costs.  He  articulated the two competing views:   The defendants                                                               
could  be  and   should  be  required  to   appear  by  telephone                                                               
conference over their  objections, thus, cutting cost.   It was a                                                               
proposal made  by the  presiding judges.   The completing  view -                                                               
one  he shares  -  was  that appearance  by  telephone or  video-                                                               
conference  should  be   done  only  with  the   consent  of  the                                                               
defendant.    That  mechanism  would  more  likely  result  in  a                                                               
reduction in  transport.  He  said that because of  the struggles                                                               
regarding communications  with clients, transportation  becomes a                                                               
mechanism by which  clients speak with their  lawyers and lawyers                                                               
speak with their clients.   He maintained that most defendants do                                                               
not  want to  appear in  court  if "nothing's  going to  happen."                                                               
With adequate communication, the  need for transportation is cut.                                                               
He relayed that there were  two proposals under Criminal Rule 38;                                                               
the supreme court ultimately adopted  the majority view - the one                                                               
he favors  - which is that  it should be the  defendant's option.                                                               
He reiterated  that the criminal  rules committee was  looking to                                                               
cut  transportation,   and  a  majority  of   the  committee  was                                                               
persuaded that  this option provided  the best method.   He added                                                               
that  the majority  included  judges and  the  prosecutor on  the                                                               
criminal rules committee.                                                                                                       
4:22:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  referred to  testimony that Mr.  Steiner was                                                               
not  allowed  to  appear  at the  House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting in  person and pointed out  the differences and                                                               
advantages of  a person appearing in  person versus communicating                                                               
through  technolgy.    He maintained  that  seeing  someone  live                                                               
offers far more impressions and a better "read" of that person.                                                                 
MR. SKIDMORE  stated that  the second  proposal mentioned  by Mr.                                                               
Steiner  was  one  made  by  the presiding  judges  of  the  four                                                               
different judicial  districts of Alaska.   He said that  the four                                                               
judges were  looking for  efficiency within  the courthouse.   He                                                               
said that Mr. Steiner believes  that by allowing the defendant to                                                               
control  whether he/she  is transported  to  the hearings,  there                                                               
will be  a decrease in  transportation.  He relayed,  "That's not                                                               
what  has  been  borne  out."    He  maintained  that  defendants                                                               
repeatedly  request  to be  transported  for  hearings for  which                                                               
there is not  substantive issues being addressed.   It has turned                                                               
into a  way for defense attorneys  to meet with their  clients at                                                               
the  expense  of the  Department  of  Public  Safety (DPS).    He                                                               
emphasized that no  one disputes that attorneys  should meet with                                                               
their  clients,  and  no  one  disputes  that  the  best  way  to                                                               
accomplish that  is in person;  however, putting that  burden [of                                                               
in-person consultations]  on DPS,  in turn causes  court hearings                                                               
to last  longer in  order to allow  attorneys the  opportunity to                                                               
consult  with  their  clients  before the  hearing  occurs.    He                                                               
reiterated that  everyone agrees that consultation  is necessary;                                                               
the   discussion  is   about  the   method   for  achieving   the                                                               
consultation.  He  maintained that HB 50 does not  mandate that a                                                               
defendant always  must appear by video-teleconference;  rather it                                                               
gives  the court  the discretion  to determine  the circumstances                                                               
for that to occur.   He emphasized that under HB  50, the judge -                                                               
not the defendant  - would decide when it is  appropriate for the                                                               
defendant to appear  in person.  He added that  DOL has supported                                                               
this  provision  for many  years  and  advocated  for it  in  the                                                               
criminal rules committee;  he cannot explain why it  has not been                                                               
included  in  previous  criminal  justice bills;  and  he  cannot                                                               
explain  the  views  of  the prosecutor  on  the  criminal  rules                                                               
MR.  SKIDMORE   stated  that   the  electronic   monitoring  (EM)                                                               
provision  under  [HB  50]  refers  to  allowing  someone  credit                                                               
against his/her jail  sentence for the length of  time he/she has                                                               
been  on  EM  pretrial.    He said  that  HB  50  prohibits  that                                                               
practice.    He  mentioned  the  Justin  Schneider  case  [Justin                                                               
Schneider was convicted  of kidnapping and assault  for an August                                                               
15, 2017, incident in Anchorage]  in which Mr. Schneider had been                                                               
on EM for  a year by the  time his change of plea  was made; when                                                               
the  judge imposed  a  year  in jail,  Mr.  Schneider was  spared                                                               
prison time, because he had already served a year under EM.                                                                     
MR. SKIDMORE said  that for anyone sentenced,  DOC assesses where                                                               
it is appropriate  for the person to serve his/her  sentence - in                                                               
a halfway  house, on EM,  in a  minimum-security prison, or  in a                                                               
higher security  prison.  He  maintained that the  assessment for                                                               
where a  person serves  his/her sentence  is very  different than                                                               
the assessment that determines if the  person is a flight risk or                                                               
at  risk for  committing a  new crime.   He  said that  currently                                                               
under law, the  court assesses whether the person needs  to be in                                                               
jail pretrial  because he/she  is a  risk to  the community  or a                                                               
flight  risk; the  law is  obligated  currently to  use the  risk                                                               
assessment tool, which  is not yet fully developed,  to make this                                                               
decision; consequently  the results  of the risk  assessment tool                                                               
is applied in  determining the ultimate sentence.   He maintained                                                               
that   sentencing  thus   neither  meets   the  Chaney   criteria                                                               
[sentencing standards adopted  by Alaska as a result  of State v.                                                             
Chaney] nor  the type  of risk assessment  DOC uses  to determine                                                             
where someone should  serve his/her sentence.   He concluded that                                                               
HB 50 would  eliminate the possibility of pretrial  EM being used                                                               
as credit towards the ultimate sentence.                                                                                        
4:29:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  whether  granting  credit  for  EM                                                               
towards a person's sentence predated Senate Bill 91.                                                                            
MR.  SKIDMORE responded,  "That is  a concept  that has  been ...                                                               
evolving  over  the years."    He  said  that  he would  have  to                                                               
research the legislative history to  answer that question, but he                                                               
knows that it is currently in statute.                                                                                          
MR. SKIDMORE  moved on to the  last bullet point on  the document                                                               
describing the pretrial release highlights.   He said that unlike                                                               
EM, there is good reason  to provide incentive for treatment even                                                               
pretrial.   He maintained that  EM encourages pretrial  delay due                                                               
to  the  hope  [of  the   defender]  that  whatever  sentence  is                                                               
ultimately imposed, the EM time will  be credited towards it.  He                                                               
added  that  treatment  time   is  similarly  credited;  however,                                                               
treatment  serves a  much more  beneficial purpose,  which is  to                                                               
help  individuals  with  substance  abuse  or  any  other  issues                                                               
contributing to  their criminality.   He stated that HB  50 would                                                               
cap the  amount of jail  credit based  on treatment at  180 days;                                                               
the intent  is to  find a  balance between  encouraging treatment                                                               
pretrial  but  still  respecting  the  need  for  finality  in  a                                                               
criminal case.   He  offered that victims  are also  impacted and                                                               
want closure.  He said that  most treatment programs are 180 days                                                               
or less;  if it is  a treatment  program requiring more  than 180                                                               
days,  treatment   may  be  received   by  the   defendant  after                                                               
sentencing.   He  maintained that  six months  is an  appropriate                                                               
length of  time for a person  to be in treatment  before the case                                                               
goes to trial and is resolved.                                                                                                  
4:31:34 PM                                                                                                                    
RON  WILSON,   Chair,  Alaska  Therapeutic  Court   Alumni  Group                                                               
(AKTCA), relayed that the therapeutic  court is an alternative to                                                               
traditional   justice;  it   allows   non-violent  offenders   to                                                               
participate  in  an  18-month  program.     He  shared  that  the                                                               
therapeutic  court allowed  him a  chance to  break his  cycle of                                                               
crime  -   which  lasted  from   1996-2008.     Under  sentencing                                                               
guidelines, he was looking at six  years in prison; he opted into                                                               
the  therapeutic court  program, which  helped him  to receive  a                                                               
diagnosis   of  anxiety   disorder.     Once  his   disorder  was                                                               
identified,  he completed  the [therapeutic  court] program.   He                                                               
could  complete the  program outside  of custody  and, therefore,                                                               
was able to continue work as  an electrician and be home with his                                                               
wife and  four children.   He  said that  upon completion  of the                                                               
program,  he  developed  an  alumni group  and  continues  to  be                                                               
involved  with   that  organization  offering  peer   support  to                                                               
"process" groups.  He has  seen several dozens of participants of                                                               
the program whose lives have changed.   He offered that many jobs                                                               
require  a valid  driver's license  and  obtaining one  can be  a                                                               
barrier for offenders;  he maintained that under  Senate Bill 91,                                                               
a  felony limited  license  was available  for  graduates of  the                                                               
therapeutic   court,   allowing   them  to   secure   sustainable                                                               
employment.   He stated  that the cost  of the  therapeutic court                                                               
program for an individual is about  one-sixth of the cost for the                                                               
same time period  - 18 months - [in prison].   He maintained that                                                               
the  recidivism  rate  for individuals  who  have  completed  the                                                               
program is  significantly lower than  rates for those  subject to                                                               
the traditional  court process.   He asked for  continued support                                                               
for the alternative  court program, for housing  funds to provide                                                               
offenders  with  housing  for   the  first  couple  months  after                                                               
release,  and  for Medicaid  funds  to  pay  for treatment.    He                                                               
emphasized  that therapeutic  court was  a life-changer  for him:                                                               
since he  entered the therapeutic  court program in 2008,  he has                                                               
not  had another  arrest; he  is currently  a business  owner; he                                                               
remains involved  with therapeutic  courts through  AKTCA helping                                                               
individuals navigate the court system.                                                                                          
4:36:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked Mr. Lovell  to provide context for Alaska's                                                               
criminal justice reform  in terms of what other  states have done                                                               
and the implication of "walking back" some of the reforms.                                                                      
[The  committee was  provided with  Appendix  I of  the Board  of                                                               
State   and  Community   Corrections   (BSCC)  report,   entitled                                                               
"Performance Metrics for Community  Corrections."  Appendix I was                                                               
entitled "Functional Model of a Community Corrections System."]                                                                 
MR. LOVELL  relayed that he  had a  40-year career in  and around                                                               
prisons  -  as  a  professor,   teacher,  counselor,  and  policy                                                               
analyzer -  in the states  of Washington, New  York, Connecticut,                                                               
and California.  He stated that  he has a connection with Alaska:                                                               
his wife  is an Alaska  Native who  grew up in  Southeast Alaska,                                                               
and  he  spent his  first  year  of  retirement  in Alaska.    He                                                               
mentioned the  move to privatize  Alaska prisons and  the massive                                                               
reversals  of  the  type  of  reforms that  he  has  observed  in                                                               
California over a six-year period.   He said he finds this action                                                               
puzzling.   He  offered  that  he is  confident  that Alaska  can                                                               
develop its  own abilities and  solve its own  problems regarding                                                               
criminal justice;  however, it may  need advice on  modeling from                                                               
those who have worked in other  states.  He gave the example that                                                               
Alaska can build its own  risk assessment tool using Alaska data.                                                               
He expressed that Alaska should  resist the temptation to rely on                                                               
an  outside entity  to solve  its problems,  especially regarding                                                               
private  prisons.   He maintained  that  criminal justice  reform                                                               
works; it doesn't  work always as expected; and it  is not always                                                               
easy to measure  success.  He said that he  has observed criminal                                                               
justice reform very closely in  California over a six-year period                                                               
- looking both  at the county and state levels.   He relayed that                                                               
some  broad-minded county  executives  decided that  there was  a                                                               
jail  population crisis;  instead  of expanding  the jails,  they                                                               
tried evidence-based  practices as alternatives  to incarceration                                                               
- ones  that Alaska has also  considered.  He said  that counties                                                               
began  to track  who was  in jail,  length of  incarceration, and                                                               
reasons  for incarceration.   The  ensuing discussions  from that                                                               
data resulted in  decisions about who should be kept  in jail and                                                               
who  should be  released.    He offered  that  the  result was  a                                                               
decline in jail  population without any effect  on public safety.                                                               
He   stated  that   from  his   observation  in   Washington  and                                                               
California, whenever  reforms are  introduced that  will decrease                                                               
the number  of people incarcerated,  the public  anticipates that                                                               
crime will  rise; however, it does  not.  He offered  that Alaska                                                               
has a crime  problem; however, one can see from  the model in the                                                               
document  that the  idea that  it would  be affected  directly by                                                               
tinkering with  the sanctions  is not  realistic.   He emphasized                                                               
that the  model is  very complicated; there  are many  points for                                                               
intervention;  and there  are  many  different factors  affecting                                                               
outcome.  He asserted that in  order to find out if recidivism is                                                               
working, one  must keep  records on  what is  being done  and the                                                               
outcomes.    He  said,  "If  crime  is  going  up,  ask  "Who  is                                                               
committing it?   Whose crime?"   He maintained that it  is faulty                                                               
thinking to  assume that when  crime goes up,  incarceration must                                                               
go up  as a response; the  connections [between the two]  are far                                                               
more complicated than  that.  He reiterated that  Alaska needs to                                                               
determine who is  committing the crimes, why  they are committing                                                               
the  crimes,  and  whether incarceration  is  the  solution;  and                                                               
Alaska needs  to use its  own resources, people, and  values, and                                                               
not rely upon an outside entity.                                                                                                
4:43:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX referred  to  the  3/7/19 Anchorage  Daily                                                             
News  article mentioned  by Representative  Wool relating  to the                                                             
case in which someone  was in jail as a result  of not being able                                                               
to  pay the  $500 bail  amount.   She expressed  her belief  that                                                               
Senate Bill 91  had eliminated that possibility.   She added that                                                               
ultimately all the charges against  the woman in the article were                                                               
MR. SKIDMORE  responded that  he was not  familiar with  the case                                                               
but would investigate it.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  clarified that  it was a  3/7/19 Anchorage                                                             
Daily News article by Michelle Boots.                                                                                         
CO-CHAIR FIELDS offered  that [HB 50], by  eliminating credit for                                                               
pretrial  EM, would  add about  14,000 person-days  of detention.                                                               
He asked for a cost estimate for that.                                                                                          
4:45:32 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  GOODE,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Corrections,                                                               
responded that  this year  the system wide  average cost  per day                                                               
per inmate  is $168.74.   She  said that  she could  provide more                                                               
detailed information on other fiscal impacts upon request.                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS stated  that for  14,000  person-days, the  cost                                                               
would be about $2.3 million.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL referred  to Mr.  Skidmore's testimony  that                                                               
Alaska is  looking for ways to  reduce its jail population.   Mr.                                                               
Skidmore  also  said that  other  states  might have  tested  the                                                               
pretrial risk assessment tool in  a county before implementing it                                                               
statewide.    Representative  Wool   offered  that  a  county  in                                                               
California  might  have a  similar  population  to the  State  of                                                               
Alaska.   He  added that  for evaluation  of programs,  one would                                                               
need  substantial  data.    He  asked  the  following  questions:                                                               
Couldn't Alaska  learn much  from another  state's program  - one                                                               
that has been in place for eight  to ten years?  How important it                                                               
is for  Alaska to develop  and customize its own  risk assessment                                                               
tool?   How different is  Alaska's behavior of criminals  and the                                                               
criminal justice system from other states?                                                                                      
MR.  SKIDMORE   summarized  the   2011  BJA   report,  previously                                                               
discussed,  as  follows:    States  took  varying  approaches  to                                                               
implement pretrial risk  assessment tools; some used  a tool from                                                               
another state;  his research revealed that  using another state's                                                               
tool is not the preferred method.   The preferred method is for a                                                               
state to  develop a tool  based on its  own data.   He maintained                                                               
that Alaska was  attempting to do that.  Other  states tested and                                                               
adjusted their  tools using a  focused group  before implementing                                                               
it statewide.   He said that  every other state offered  the tool                                                               
as a  factor for the  court to consider;  they did not  write the                                                               
tool into statute, so that  the presumptions that the courts used                                                               
were tied to  an individual's score on the  risk assessment tool.                                                               
He gave  an example using Class  C felonies:  "We  took a concept                                                               
that other  states had  used, that seemed  to be  successful, and                                                               
got so excited  about it, we went further than  what anybody else                                                               
had done, and then all of  a sudden we started to have problems."                                                               
He said that  Alaska's tool did not take  into consideration out-                                                               
of-state  criminal  history;  it  only  took  into  consideration                                                               
limited  prior criminal  history; it  was tied  to the  statutes,                                                               
which  restricted the  state's ability  to respond  and give  the                                                               
courts  discretion  for adjustment.    He  stated that  currently                                                               
Alaska's  tool   is  being  validated;  many   states  with  risk                                                               
assessment  tools did  not validate  or update  their tools.   He                                                               
maintained  that validation  is "a  good thing";  however, Alaska                                                               
put  it  into statute  before  validation.   He  reiterated  that                                                               
research  supports starting  locally  with  an adequate  research                                                               
sample.   He  asserted  that Anchorage,  Fairbanks, or  Southeast                                                               
Alaska   would   have   provided  a   statistically   significant                                                               
population.  He  reiterated the importance of a  state having its                                                               
own  pretrial assessment  tool due  to the  nuances of  statutes,                                                               
populations, and issues of a state.   He agreed that developing a                                                               
tool  poses challenges  for Alaska,  because it  is so  large and                                                               
diverse.   He  maintained that  HB 50  is in  reaction to  Alaska                                                               
having implemented criminal justice reform  too fast; it does not                                                               
propose eliminating criminal justice  reform; it proposes slowing                                                               
it  down.   He said  that  unlike other  states that  implemented                                                               
criminal justice reform and achieved  reduced crime rates, Alaska                                                               
did not; its rates have increased.                                                                                              
4:51:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked whether  Alaska adopted another state's                                                               
[pretrial assessment tool]  model or developed its own.   He also                                                               
asked whether other states use  the preassessment tool score as a                                                               
factor in the judge's decision and not as a determinant.                                                                        
MR. SKIDMORE answered  that Alaska was unable to  gather the data                                                               
to be included within the tool;  the inclusion of the data should                                                               
have occurred;  however, it  was not possible;  and there  was no                                                               
way the legislature could have  anticipated that problem when the                                                               
law passed.  He continued by  saying there were problems with the                                                               
implementation  of the  tool, and  there  are still  issues.   He                                                               
maintained  that HB  50 offers  a "reset."   He  referred to  Mr.                                                               
Steiner's testimony that  the rate of re-offense  - before Senate                                                               
Bill 91  and currently  - is  the same.   He maintained  that the                                                               
percentage  -  not   the  number  -  of   offenses  has  remained                                                               
unchanged.  He  gave a hypothetical example:   Before Senate Bill                                                               
91, 30  percent of the  people released were  re-offending; after                                                               
Senate Bill 91, 30 percent  are re-offending; because more people                                                               
are being released, a greater  number of re-offending people have                                                               
been  released.   Thirty  percent  of 100  is  different than  30                                                               
percent of 1,000.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX    asked   for   confirmation    of   her                                                               
understanding that  in 2017,  Alaska passed  the "reform  bill to                                                               
the  reform bill,"  which  gave discretion  back  to the  judges,                                                               
allowing them to use the pretrial assessment tool as a tool.                                                                    
MR.  SKIDMORE replied  that she  is referring  to House  Bill 312                                                               
[passed  during the  Thirtieth  Alaska  State Legislature,  2017-                                                               
2018].   He said  that the  legislation limited  one of  the more                                                               
damaging  aspects  of Senate  Bill  91,  which was  removing  all                                                               
discretion  from judges;  however, it  did not  change tying  the                                                               
presumptions of the courts to the  tool.  That provision is still                                                               
in law today.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX acknowledged  that a  pilot program  would                                                               
most likely  have been the better  path, but since the  state did                                                               
not  implement one,  the entire  state became  the pilot  program                                                               
three years ago.   She asked if information was  gleaned from the                                                               
state's data.                                                                                                                   
MR. SKIDMORE  responded that  Senate Bill  91 passed  three years                                                               
ago,  but  the pretrial  provisions  were  not implemented  until                                                               
2018; therefore,  it is  about month  15 for  those changes.   He                                                               
acknowledged that  more data could  be gathered;  however, issues                                                               
have been identified  and it would be negligent  to continue with                                                               
the provisions  knowing that the  problems exist that  put people                                                               
at risk.                                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR FIELDS responded that there  have substantial changes to                                                               
Senate Bill 91.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  Mr.  Steiner  to  respond  to  the                                                               
question  of  whether  he  was referring  to  rates  or  absolute                                                               
numbers [of re-arrests] when he  mentioned they have not changed,                                                               
even though more people are being released from jail.                                                                           
4:57:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. STEINER  answered that the  data that he referenced  was from                                                               
UA,  which stated  that the  absolute numbers  of re-arrests  for                                                               
people who  have been released  has not  changed.  The  number of                                                               
individuals who have been released  has increased, as well as the                                                               
number of people who have been  arrested initially.  He said that                                                               
raises the possibility that the  re-arrest rate has dropped since                                                               
the tool  has been  implemented; however, that  would have  to be                                                               
MR. STEINER  added that the  pretrial risk assessment  tool never                                                               
eliminated all  discretion from judiciary, nor  does it eliminate                                                               
discretion from  the judiciary currently;  it changes  the nature                                                               
of the  discretion as far  as the burden  of proof required.   He                                                               
explained that in  the original version, the court  could not set                                                               
a  monetary   bail  on  a   low-risk  defendant;  it   could  set                                                               
conditions, supervision,  or unsecured bonds; it  could not force                                                               
the defendant  to remain in jail  due to inability to  post bail.                                                               
He stated that this provision was  changed; the court now, with a                                                               
clear and  convincing finding  may now set  monetary bail.   This                                                               
can result in the outcome described  in the article:  someone can                                                               
stay in jail  for lengthy periods of time due  to a modest amount                                                               
of bail  money and later  have their  case acquitted at  trial or                                                               
dismissed.   He emphasized, "Somebody  who sits in jail  for that                                                               
long loses everything."   He asked, "Is  the public substantially                                                               
protected  by  a $500  bail?"    He  said,  "The answer  to  that                                                               
question is "No.   They're not protected at all."   He maintained                                                               
that  the  data  informs  that  setting  an  unsecured  bail  and                                                               
releasing  the  person   results  in  the  same   outcomes.    He                                                               
reiterated  that   setting  monetary   bail  [for   the  low-risk                                                               
defendant] results  in incarcerating  someone who  potentially is                                                               
innocent; it undermines the person's  ability to maintain his/her                                                               
pro-social  contacts, take  care  of his/her  family, and  remain                                                               
productive.    He  asserted that  monetary  bail  also  increased                                                               
recidivism; people  who spend time  in jail have higher  rates of                                                               
recidivism than  people who  do not.   He  added that  people who                                                               
spend time  in jail pre-trial  have longer sentences  than people                                                               
who  are released.   People  who are  released can  make positive                                                               
changes, which makes a difference in sentencing.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  offered  that   MR.  Steiner  has  provided  an                                                               
accurate summary  of the unintended  consequences of HB  50; more                                                               
people may  be unintentionally entrapped in  the criminal justice                                                               
system making  them more  likely to commit  crimes in  the future                                                               
due to losing their jobs and the other consequences.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR FIELDS, in response  to Representative Story's questions                                                               
about how best to proceed  with the proposed legislation, offered                                                               
his desire to  have more hearings and greater  exploration of the                                                               
CO-CHAIR FIELDS stated that HB 50 would be held over.                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR004 ver S 3.18.19.PDF HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HCR004 Sponsor Statement 3.18.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HCR004 Sectional Analysis ver S 3.18.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HCR004 Additional Documents-Leg Research Background 3.18.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HCR004 Fiscal Note 3.18.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HCR004 Additional Documents-Leg Research Background 3.18.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HCR04 Committee on Committees Amendment #1 3.18.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB050 ver A 2.20.19.PDF HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Pretrial Highlights 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Pretrial Sectional 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Transmittal Letter 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Additional Document - Crime Bill GOA Bills Matrix 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DPS-PrisTrans 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOC-Pretrial 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOC-IDO 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note LAW-CRM 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOA-OPA 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note DOA-PDA 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB050 Fiscal Note JUD-ACS 3.19.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HB051 ver A 2.20.19.PDF HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Highlights 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Sectional Analysis 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Transmittal Letter 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Additional Document - Crime Bill GOA Bills Matrix 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Fiscal Note DOC-IDO 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Fiscal Note LAW-CRM 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB051 Fiscal Note DOC-DPP 2.20.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 51
HB050 Opposing Doucment - Functioning Model of a Community Corrections System 3.19.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 4/16/2019 3:00:00 PM
HB 50
HCR04 ver U 3.14.19.pdf HSTA 3/19/2019 3:00:00 PM