Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/23/2001 01:44 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               SB 178-DETENTION OF DELINQUENT MINORS                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR announced SB 178 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
MS. HOLLY MORRIS, staff to Senator Therriault, sponsor, said:                                                                   
     SB  178 doesn't  change our statute.  What  it does is  it                                                                 
     brings  us into  compliance  with a  federal  law and,  in                                                                 
     doing  so,  allows  us  to  access  some regulatory   time                                                                 
     exemptions  to  lower  violation rates  and  preserve  our                                                                 
     federal  funding.  It is  in regards  to  juveniles  being                                                                 
     detained  in rural  areas in  an adult  lock up facility.                                                                  
     They have 24 hours to, as  quickly and safely as possible,                                                                 
     move those  juveniles to a juvenile detention  center. Our                                                                 
     current  statute  allows us  up to  48 hours,  if that  is                                                                 
     necessary.  However, in changing  the statue to match  the                                                                 
     federal  language,   we  don't  extend  the  time  that  a                                                                 
     juvenile  may be  held in an  adult lock  up facility.  In                                                                 
     fact, it allows,  if a juvenile is going to be  held in an                                                                 
     adult lock up facility for  longer than 24 hours, they are                                                                 
     to be given  an arraignment in that period. So,  it speeds                                                                 
     up  their due  process if  they can't  get  to a juvenile                                                                  
     detention  center. In changing the statute to  comply with                                                                 
     this  federal law, it  allows us to  optimize our federal                                                                  
     funding possibilities.                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT said  that federal law says that for those states                                                            
that  require an  initial  hearing  within 24  hours,  if the  state                                                            
statute says 24  hours, we have access some federal  exemptions. Our                                                            
statute currently  says 48 hours.  So, we don't have access  to that                                                            
wiggle room to  deal with our remote rural lock up  situations where                                                            
a juvenile  might be housed while  they are waiting for the  weather                                                            
to clear or a plane to  be available to transport them to a juvenile                                                            
detention  facility. "We're  in danger of  losing about $160,000  of                                                            
federal funds  that can be used for alternatives -  youth courts and                                                            
things  of  that  nature.  In  addition,   if  we  don't  come  into                                                            
compliance,  an  additional   $500,000  of  federal  funds  will  be                                                            
mandatorily steered to state moving towards compliance."                                                                        
Mr.  ROBERT  BUTTCANE,  Division  of  Juvenile  Justice,  said  that                                                            
Senator Therriault  did an excellent job of explaining  the bill and                                                            
he didn't have anything to add.                                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR asked if  this would "prevent  us from handcuffing                                                             
them to a D8 Cat in Yakutat."                                                                                                   
MR. BUTTCANE  answered  that  he hoped  they didn't  ever have  that                                                            
authority,  but when it has  happened, they  have probably  had some                                                            
time limits to deal with.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR thanked him  for the things  that he had done  over                                                            
the years and  noted that his division had gone a  long ways towards                                                            
restructuring the state's  criminal justice system for juveniles and                                                            
making it more accountable.                                                                                                     
SENATOR THERRIAULT  wanted verification  that this would  not change                                                            
the speed  with which  juveniles who  are in a  more urban  setting,                                                            
where a youth  facility is available,  get to initial arraignments.                                                             
MR.  BUTTCANE responded  that  was right.  The  24-hour arraignment                                                             
would apply only to those  juveniles who would be housed in an adult                                                            
facility  in a  remote part  of the  state. "We  would continue  the                                                            
current  law   as  it  would  apply   to  juveniles  who   would  be                                                            
incarcerated in a youth facility in an urban area."                                                                             
SENATOR ELLIS moved to  pass SB 178 with individual recommendations.                                                            
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 

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