Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/11/2020 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 166 AUTHORITY OF PRETRIAL SERVICES OFFICERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 167 AGGRAVATING FACTOR: CORRECTIONS OFFICER TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 162 FORM OF NAME ON DRIVER'S LICENSE/ID TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
         SB 167-AGGRAVATING FACTOR: CORRECTIONS OFFICER                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:45:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK announced  the consideration of SENATE  BILL NO. 167,                                                               
"An Act  providing for  an aggravating  factor at  sentencing for                                                               
contractors,  volunteers,  and  employees of  the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections; and providing for an effective date."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He invited Ms. Winkelman to present the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:46:01 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER WINKELMAN, Acting Deputy Commissioner, Department of                                                                   
Corrections, Juneau, Alaska, introduced SB 167, reading from the                                                                
following prepared statement:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Good afternoon  Mr. Chairman and members  of the Senate                                                                    
     State  Affairs Committee.  For the  record, my  name is                                                                    
     Jennifer Winkelman, Acting  Deputy Commissioner for the                                                                    
     Department of Corrections.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Here   with  me   today  are   Kelly  Howell,   Special                                                                    
     Assistant/Legislative  Liaison  for the  Department  of                                                                    
     Corrections, who  will provide a sectional  analysis of                                                                    
     the  bill,  and   Kaci  Schroeder,  Assistant  Attorney                                                                    
     General with  the Department of  Law, who  is available                                                                    
     to  answer  any  legal questions  associated  with  the                                                                    
     bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Thank  you for  the  opportunity to  appear before  you                                                                    
     today to  introduce Senate Bill  167, an  Act providing                                                                    
     for   an   aggravating   factor   at   sentencing   for                                                                    
     contractors,   volunteers,   and   employees   of   the                                                                    
     Department  of   Corrections,  and  providing   for  an                                                                    
     effective date.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Promoting the  safety and security of  our correctional                                                                    
     facilities is the utmost priority  of the Department of                                                                    
     Corrections.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Senate   Bill   167   establishes  an   aggravator   at                                                                    
     sentencing   for   persons   convicted   of   promoting                                                                    
     contraband in the  first degree if, at the  time of the                                                                    
     offense, the  person was  under contract,  a volunteer,                                                                    
     or  an employee  of the  Department of  Corrections and                                                                    
     the offense was committed in  the course of the persons                                                                    
     contractual, volunteer, or employment duties.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Contractors,   volunteers,   and   employees   of   the                                                                    
     Department  of Corrections  are granted  special access                                                                    
     within   our  facilities   to   assist   them  in   the                                                                    
     performance  of their  duties.  This  access bestows  a                                                                    
     high  level of  trust that  is paramount  to supporting                                                                    
     and maintaining  a safe  and secure  environment within                                                                    
     our facilities.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The safety and security  of our correctional facilities                                                                    
     is  seriously compromised  when  contraband is  brought                                                                    
     inside  the walls.  When  a  contractor, volunteer,  or                                                                    
     employee  of  the  department violates  that  trust  by                                                                    
     using  their  access  to   bring  contraband  into  our                                                                    
     facilities, an enhanced penalty should apply.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Promoting contraband in  the first degree is  a class C                                                                    
     felony that  carries a sentence  of zero to  two years.                                                                    
     By   adding   an   additional   aggravator   under   AS                                                                    
     12.55.155(c), Senate  Bill 167  would allow a  court to                                                                    
     impose   a    lengthier   sentence    on   contractors,                                                                    
     volunteers,  or employees  who  are  convicted of  this                                                                    
     offense.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     We appreciate  the opportunity  to present  Senate Bill                                                                    
     167 today and request  your prompt and favorable action                                                                    
     on this bill.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:48:31 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY HOWELL, Special Assistant and Legislative Liaison,                                                                        
Department of Corrections, Juneau, Alaska, read the following                                                                   
sectional analysis for SB 167:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section  1: Adds  a new  paragraph  to AS  12.55.155(c)                                                                    
     relating  to factors  that shall  be considered  by the                                                                    
     sentencing  court   if  proven   and  that   may  allow                                                                    
     imposition   of   a   sentence  above   the   statutory                                                                    
     presumptive  range   (aggravating  factors).   The  new                                                                    
     factor  would  be conviction  of  an  offense under  AS                                                                    
     11.56.375  (promoting contraband  in the  first degree)                                                                    
     if the  person, at the  time of the conviction,  was an                                                                    
     employee,  volunteer,   or  under  contract   with  the                                                                    
     Department of Corrections.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2:  Establishes  that   the  factor  added  in                                                                    
     section  1 applies  to offenses  committed on  or after                                                                    
     the effective date of the act.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
      Section 3: Establishes an effective date of July 1,                                                                       
     2020.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She noted that  there are three zero fiscal notes  attached to SB
167.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:49:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COGHILL  asked how  many times  someone has  been charged                                                               
under AS 11.56.375, promoting contraband in the first degree.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WINKELMAN said she assumes  he is asking about the Department                                                               
of Corrections employees.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL replied he would like  to know the total and then                                                               
how many are correctional employees.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. WINKELMAN  said DOC  is currently  houses about  41 promoting                                                               
contraband  cases  statewide,  most  of  which  are  attached  to                                                               
another case. According  to the DOC human  resources office, less                                                               
than 5 cases  involving a DOC employee,  contractor, or volunteer                                                               
have  gone  to  prosecution  since  2012.  She  added  that  this                                                               
snapshot  shows that  the bill  would  affect a  small number  of                                                               
cases.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  asked, for that  cohort, what the  difference is                                                               
between those charged and those convicted.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WINKELMAN replied she did not have that number.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL   said  he  would   like  that   information  to                                                               
understand whether the aggravator has any impact.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:52:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REVAK said  he  would also  like to  know  what type  of                                                               
contraband  was moved  in those  five  cases. He  added that  his                                                               
assumption is that 5 people could  move quite a lot of contraband                                                               
before they got caught.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COGHILL  asked what types  of contraband account  for the                                                               
highest volume.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WINKELMAN  responded that  a  person  commits the  crime  of                                                               
promoting contraband in  the first degree if the  contraband is a                                                               
deadly weapon,  a defensive weapon,  an article that  is intended                                                               
by the  defendant to be used  as a means of  facilitating escape,                                                               
or a controlled substance.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL asked  if most  of  the cases  that resulted  in                                                               
successful prosecution  involved contraband to promote  escape or                                                               
drug use.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. WINKELMAN replied she would follow up with the specifics.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  COGHILL  said  he   would  appreciate  that  information                                                               
because  anecdotal evidence  indicates  that drugs  get into  the                                                               
facilities far too often                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REVAK  asked Ms. Winkelman  to submit the  information to                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:55:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  reconvened the meeting  and opened  public testimony                                                               
on  SB 167.  Seeing none,  he  said he  would keep  it open,  but                                                               
testimony  could also  be submitted  to ssta@akleg.gov.  He noted                                                               
there were three zero fiscal notes attached to SB 167.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REVAK held SB 167 in committee for future consideration.                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 166 Sponsor Statement 1.24.2020.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 166
SB 166 Sectional Analysis v. A 2.5.2020.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 166
SB 167 Sponsor Statement 1.24.2020.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167
SB 167 Sectional Analysis v. A 2.5.2020.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167
SB 162 Legal Memo 11.27.19.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 162
SB 162 Legal Memo 1.22.20.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 162
SB 162 Sponsor Statement 2.7.20.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 162
SB 162 Backup statute docs.pdf SSTA 2/11/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 162