Legislature(1997 - 1998)

10/24/1997 09:08 AM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                             
                         October 24, 1997                                      
                             9:08 a.m.                                         
                         Anchorage, Alaska                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Joe Green, Chairman                                            
 Representative Con Bunde, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Brian Porter                                                   
 Representative Jeannette James (via teleconference)                           
 Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Eric Croft                                                     
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 252                                                          
 "An Act relating to criminal records; relating to notice about and            
 registration of sex offenders and child kidnappers; and amending              
 Rules 11(c) and 32(c), Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure."                   
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 273                                                          
 "An Act relating to notification of the public concerning sex                 
 offenders."                                                                   
                                                                               
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 252                                                                 
 SHORT TITLE: REGISTRATION OF SEX & CHILD OFFENDERS                            
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) RYAN                                            
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 04/16/97      1122    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/16/97      1122    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 05/05/97              (H)   JUD AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 120                        
 05/05/97              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 05/08/97              (H)   JUD AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 120                        
 05/08/97              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 10/24/97              (H)   JUD AT 9:00 AM ANCHORAGE LIO                      
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 273                                                                 
 SHORT TITLE: NOTIFY COMMUNITY ABOUT SEX OFFENDERS                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 05/08/97      1656    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 05/08/97      1656    (H)   JUDICIARY                                         
 10/24/97              (H)   JUD AT 9:00 AM ANCHORAGE LIO                      
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN                                                       
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 420                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3875                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 252.                                       
                                                                               
 DAVID PREE, Legislative Assistant                                             
    to Representative Joe Ryan                                                 
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 420                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3875                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed proposed changes to HB 252.                    
                                                                               
 ANNE D. CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General                                 
 Legal Services Section - Juneau                                               
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3428                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 252.                                     
                                                                               
 TED BACHMAN, Captain                                                          
 Division of Alaska State Troopers                                             
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 5700 East Tudor Road                                                          
 Anchorage, Alaska  99507                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 269-5641                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 252; testified briefly            
                      on HB 273.                                               
                                                                               
 BRUCE RICHARDS, Program Coordinator                                           
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 240 Main Street, Suite 700                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3307                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 252.                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
 BARBARA BRINK, Director                                                       
 Public Defender Agency                                                        
 Department of Administration                                                  
 900 West 5th Avenue, Suite 200                                                
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501-2090                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 264-4400                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 252 and HB 273.                   
                                                                               
 DENALI DANIELS                                                                
 Standing Together Against Rape                                                
 1074 West Fireweed Lane, Suite 230                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 276-7279                                                    
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 276-7279                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 252.                                     
                                                                               
 JANICE LIENHART                                                               
 Victims for Justice                                                           
 619 East 5th Avenue                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 (No telephone number provided)                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 252.                                     
                                                                               
 KIMBERLEE VANDERHOOF                                                          
 717 9th Avenue                                                                
 Fairbanks, Alaska  99701                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 452-2293                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 252.                                     
                                                                               
 SUZANNE MANNIKKO                                                              
 HC 33, Box 2859-A                                                             
 Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 373-9028                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 252.                          
                                                                               
 "BILLIE"                                                                      
 (No last name, address or telephone number provided)                          
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 252 as mother of sex offender            
                      and grandmother of victim.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK                                                  
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2679                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 273.                                       
                                                                               
 EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant                                          
    to Representative Masek                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 432                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2679                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of sponsor of HB 273.                
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-83, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN called the House Judiciary Standing Committee              
 meeting to order at 9:08 a.m. at the Anchorage Legislative                    
 Information Office (LIO).  Members present at the call to order               
 were Representatives Green, Bunde, and Porter; Representative James           
 was present via teleconference.  Representative Berkowitz arrived             
 shortly after the call to order.                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that both bills being heard that day, HB 252             
 and HB 273, relate to sex offender registration.  He also noted               
 that Anne Carpeneti from the Department of Law was on                         
 teleconference, as was the Fairbanks LIO.                                     
                                                                               
 HB 252 - REGISTRATION OF SEX & CHILD OFFENDERS                                
                                                                               
 [Contains testimony relevant to HB 273.]                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the committee would first hear House Bill            
 No. 252, "An Act relating to criminal records; relating to notice             
 about and registration of sex offenders and child kidnappers; and             
 amending Rules 11(c) and 32(c), Alaska Rules of Criminal                      
 Procedure."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 016                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE RYAN, sponsor, came forward accompanied by his             
 legislative assistant, David Pree.  Representative Ryan read from             
 the sponsor statement.  He explained that HB 252 is being offered             
 to intensify the sex offender and child kidnapper registration                
 statutes and the registration process, in order to better protect             
 our citizens from criminals.  The intent is to comply with recent             
 changes to the law, "including the Wetterling Act and the Violent             
 Offender Registration Act," and remain eligible for the $200,000 in           
 funds granted to states that comply with these Acts.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said HB 252 allows that failure to register as            
 a sex offender and child kidnapper, or to register properly,                  
 results in a class C felony instead of a misdemeanor.  By raising             
 it from a misdemeanor to a class C felony, it induces a person to             
 register and to do so properly.  "If not, the parole/probation can            
 be revoked, and the person can be reincarcerated," Representative             
 Ryan added, saying it allows the state to have a much bigger                  
 "stick" to make these people obey the law.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN indicated that under HB 252, persons                      
 responsible for hiring and employing people have to have access to            
 current and past criminal histories.  By reducing reporting times,            
 HB 252 allows reduction of the time an offender is unregistered and           
 unsupervised.  It reduces the time that a sex offender or child               
 kidnapper has to report a change of address, and it provides for              
 annual or quarterly verifications of addresses of sex offenders or            
 child kidnappers.  The length of time a sex offender or child                 
 kidnapper must register in order to meet the requirements of 42               
 U.S.C. 14071 is also adjusted.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said the bill requires the Department of Public           
 Safety to notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if a sex           
 offender or child kidnapper does not register or cannot be found;             
 if such a person moves to another state, the FBI and the other                
 state are notified.  Furthermore, the Alaska Court System is                  
 required to provide a list of persons convicted of sex offenses to            
 the Department of Public Safety and to require the Department of              
 Public Safety to make reasonable efforts to verify the addresses of           
 sex offenders and child kidnappers registering under AS 12.63.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN advised members of his intention to add to the            
 bill; David Pree would provide details.  Representative Ryan                  
 explained, "The reason we haven't put it in here is we were waiting           
 for some court cases from different jurisdictions to be resolved by           
 the United States Supreme Court.  And they were resolved in the               
 favor of our intention, and now we can go forward."  He indicated             
 that lack of legislative legal staff had also slowed the process;             
 however, there would be a proposed committee substitute prior to              
 the start of session.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 056                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asked whether raising the failure to              
 register from a misdemeanor to a felony is one of the federal                 
 requirements that Representative Ryan had mentioned.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied, "No.  The reason that I brought that             
 about is a constituent brought it to my attention, who follows                
 these issues in the neighborhood, part of the community patrol,               
 that there were 185 convicted sex offenders within a mile of my               
 house.  And then we started checking addresses and finding business           
 places, malls, all kinds of places where a person couldn't have a             
 residence, that were listed as their addresses."                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said he'd decided that obviously the law                  
 currently isn't effective to make these people comply with the law            
 and register.  His thought was that perhaps if they increase the              
 penalty and these people know they will face a stiff incarceration,           
 this may be the "stick" the state needs to get these people to obey           
 the law and to allow the communities to know at least where they              
 live, so that people in the neighborhoods will be aware of this and           
 take more proactive action looking out for their children.                    
                                                                               
 Number 070                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE advised members that of late, he'd been              
 receiving correspondence from people encouraging legislation that             
 would require anybody that works with children to have a background           
 check.  He asked whether it would fall under the bill title to                
 expand it to require background checks for previous sex offender              
 convictions before allowing anyone to work with young people.                 
                                                                               
 Representative Berkowitz arrived.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN replied, "Partially.  We require an employer to           
 run a check.  I've seen the same information that you [have], and             
 I've talked to the person.  And that's a fairly broad-brush                   
 approach as a policy matter.  And I haven't taken the initiative to           
 do that without the opportunity to consult with my colleagues in              
 the legislature as to how they feel the ramifications of the                  
 invasion of privacy ... may be on individuals who have no record              
 and would object to having a criminal investigation.  And so, ...             
 as you know, it's a hot potato.  And I wanted to have time                    
 personally to reflect on this, discuss it with other people in the            
 legislature, before I consider taking initiative on it.  I don't              
 know that we could paint everybody under the color of this bill,              
 with that particular action."                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN indicated this bill is aimed at people who have           
 received a conviction, basically pedophiles or those who have                 
 demonstrated by their behavior that they have these particular                
 problems or this behavior pattern.  In talking to professionals in            
 law enforcement, and to psychologists or others who deal with these           
 people, he'd been told that it is just not what these people do, it           
 is what they are.  They can't seem to help themselves.  There is a            
 pattern of recidivism, with increasing severity, "until we wind up            
 with a dead child."  Representative Ryan stated his intention of              
 precluding that from happening, so that we don't have to suffer               
 these tragedies.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 104                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ apologized for being late.  He                 
 mentioned the crime of custodial interference, which essentially              
 occurs when a noncustodial parent abducts the child.  He asked                
 whether there was any overlap between the intent of HB 252 and that           
 crime.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN asked whether that is considered kidnapping               
 under the law.                                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied that it is under the kidnapping              
 statute.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN responded, "No, it's not my intent."  He                  
 clarified that his intent is to get to people who kidnap children             
 for the purposes of sexual assault or the many varied things that             
 pedophile activity entails, not necessarily being broad enough to             
 bring in custodial interference.  He said he believes that is                 
 outside the purview of this bill, and he noted in those cases, the            
 children aren't being abused, attacked, killed or threatened.                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN agreed that it is beyond the purview of this bill.             
                                                                               
 Number 128                                                                    
                                                                               
 DAVID PREE, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Ryan,                 
 advised members that the proposed change is to include what is                
 commonly known as the "predator statute."  He said it was a                   
 Washington law used in the Midwest and subsequently appealed to the           
 U.S. Supreme Court, which had issued a decision.  Because of lack             
 of legal services that month, he didn't have a copy of that                   
 decision or a firm proposal to make that day.  They anticipate,               
 however, that those statutes will be included in this bill.                   
                                                                               
 MR. PREE continued:  "The `predator law' would basically allow the            
 state to keep people under control of some sort - we don't know               
 whether we're proposing a formal incarceration like prison or not -           
 but allow them to be kept under close control by the state until              
 such time as they are deemed `not a predator' or `not a threat,' is           
 the basis of the predator rules.  Additionally, we've considered,             
 and are intending to propose by the first of session, that this               
 bill include a change in the statute moving the place ... in the              
 process where an individual is considered eligible to register as             
 a sex offender.  And we're ... proposing to move that to the time             
 of sentencing, so that their registration as a sex offender would             
 be taken care of immediately at sentencing, allowing us to ...                
 ensure that registration."                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PREE said it would eliminate the problem now where people are             
 released from incarceration and subsequently fail to register.  It            
 would also allow the state to put the community on notice that                
 these individuals are sex offenders, despite the fact that they're            
 in jail.  And if they are discharged and don't register properly,             
 there would be a mechanism to track them, built into the system, by           
 virtue of the fact that they're already registered.                           
                                                                               
 Number 165                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN referred to the predator aspect.  He said the             
 Supreme Court has ruled that if a person proves to be incorrigible,           
 they can be incarcerated for the rest of their natural life, if               
 that is necessary to keep them from this behavior.  He explained,             
 "You just keep them locked up until such time as they no longer               
 incorrigible.  And if they remain incorrigible, they remain                   
 incarcerated, a pretty heavy thing to think about, but it's also a            
 pretty heavy thing to allow people like this to be released into              
 the general population and to have dead children. ... I had to                
 weigh this very carefully before I thought about including this               
 provision, but the balance seems to come out that the welfare of              
 children is much more important than the individual liberty of a              
 person who has a problem ... which they can't overcome."                      
                                                                               
 Number 178                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether the term "unconditional discharge"               
 means they have a clean bill of health, and that it has been                  
 determined that they've served their time or that they no longer              
 are a threat to society.  Noting that it occurs in two or three               
 places in the bill, he cited one instance on page 3, line 10, where           
 it says, "the date the sex offender or child kidnapper was                    
 unconditionally discharged".                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN suggested that perhaps someone more familiar              
 with sentencing and discharge conditions could respond.                       
                                                                               
 Number 190                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responded, "I believe `unconditionally                  
 discharge' means that the time has run on the sentence and that               
 there is no further hook, if you will, probation or parole, and               
 control of the individual."                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN mentioned a reference to 15 years in the bill.            
 He stated, "That says that if you keep your act together and you              
 have no more problems, that after a period of time, then yes, you             
 are ...."                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said a conditional release would be as to               
 conditions of the parole.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 196                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN requested clarification.  He proposed a scenario               
 where "Jones" is convicted and is now out on parole and                       
 registering.  He moves to a state that doesn't require registration           
 and lives there for seven or eight years, then returns.  Chairman             
 Green referred to page 4, line 30, which discusses tolling.  He               
 asked, "Does that apply to Jones, that the seven-year period is               
 tolled and he still, then, needs to register for the balance of the           
 15 years?  Or does his moving to a state that doesn't have the                
 registration eliminate that seven years?"  He specified he was                
 using version 0-LS0818\B of the bill.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 219                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PREE stated, "To be honest with you, I don't think that we                
 intended to have a situation where a sex offender was leaving here            
 and going to a state that didn't require registration. ... I don't            
 think that much longer we are going to have a situation exist where           
 a state doesn't (indisc.) a registry.  But very definitely, the               
 scenario that you described would fit in that description, and his            
 registration period would be tolled at the time that he is not in             
 compliance somewhere.  And he would have to continue to register."            
                                                                               
 Number 221                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked, "In the contingency that there's              
 some sort of national compliance required, would satisfaction of              
 the national compliance satisfy (indisc.)?"                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said yes.  He indicated that "Megan's Law,"               
 passed by the U.S. Congress, was referred to here.  He stated,                
 "They have provisions in there for the FBI notification when people           
 move and the requirements, and these are part of ... an opportunity           
 on the part of the federal government to establish a national data            
 base of these folks and to keep track of them.  And you have an               
 obligation when a person leaves your jurisdiction, if you have                
 knowledge of it, to notify the FBI that that person has changed               
 from your jurisdiction; and there is a certain period of time when            
 they arrive at the new jurisdiction they're required to register.             
 Vice versa, other states will notify our Department of Public                 
 Safety when someone's coming.  If they don't meet those                       
 registration requirements, they fall under the statute.  They come            
 here from Alabama and they don't register as a convicted sex                  
 offender, then when they show up, they have broken this law."                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Okay, even if Alabama doesn't have a required           
 registration, if they're in this state and have been ... convicted            
 - it doesn't have to be convicted here - they are required to                 
 register."                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 240                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said conversely, if an offender convicted in            
 Alaska went to Alabama, and if Alabama had no registration                    
 requirement, they wouldn't be in violation of this chapter.  "So,             
 they would not need the tolling," he suggested.                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Ms. Carpeneti could help them on this.           
                                                                               
 Number 258                                                                    
                                                                               
 ANNE D. CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Legal Services                 
 Section - Juneau, Criminal Division, Department of Law, spoke via             
 teleconference from Juneau.  She indicated she had been unable to             
 hear Representative Porter.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the section they were talking about was            
 on page 4, line 30, regarding tolling.  He stated, "The question              
 was:  If ... an offender who was required to register in Alaska               
 went to a state that had no registration and stayed in that state             
 for five years and then returned to Alaska, would that five years             
 be tolled or not?  And my guess was it would not be tolled because            
 that five years in whatever state it was that had no requirement              
 for registration was not a violation of this chapter as the tolling           
 section requires."                                                            
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI replied, "That's my understanding also.  But as Mr.             
 Pree said, I think we're moving toward a time when we're going to             
 be registering through the FBI.  And if a state doesn't have a                
 registration plan, you're going to be required to register with the           
 FBI.  And, at least in the Governor's bill, that is included in the           
 period of registration, if you comply with FBI regulations for                
 registration."                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 263                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested that would be good to include with the               
 amendments.  Referring to Representative Bunde's question and                 
 employment, he proposed a hypothetical scenario where Jones, who is           
 properly registered, shows up to coach, on a voluntary basis, for             
 a youth group with 25 coaches and some girls' teams.  Chairman                
 Green asked whether that information would be available to that               
 youth group.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 273                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN responded, "Mr. Chairman, since the                       
 introduction of this bill, we have voluntarily received a lot of              
 cooperation from the Department of Public Safety.  And they have              
 put out an Internet site with the names of these folks.  They, I              
 understand now, they will pass out the names without charge,                  
 copying fee charge, which has severely impacted their budget, as              
 you can imagine, personnel costs and so forth.  And they're ...               
 making very good efforts; I'm very proud of the agency.  And I'm              
 sure there's some folks here will tell you more than what I've told           
 you about this.  So, it's very easy to find out if anyone who is              
 coming to volunteer has a conviction.  The department is                      
 cooperating quite well."                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN noted that a volunteer is not an employee.  He            
 pointed out that whether the legislature wants to have these                  
 particular screenings for everyone dealing with kids is a policy              
 question that they must decide as a body.  He stated, "And right              
 now, I personally see both sides of that sword; it cuts both ways,            
 privacy versus the thing, and I want to give that some                        
 consideration before I take any personal action on it.  Here I'm              
 dealing with folks, you know, have already demonstrated that their            
 conduct is such that ... they can't be trusted."                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN stated his belief that it would be good conduct           
 for an agency dealing with children to do what they can to screen             
 those who deal with children.  If someone who volunteered                     
 subsequently got a child sexual offense, people would ask, "Why               
 didn't you check these people, especially when the information is             
 readily available?"                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 302                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said the reason he'd asked is that both the coaches            
 and the participants are volunteers, and a "reverence" can be                 
 established between a child and a coach that transcends the                   
 average, run-of-the-mill relationship.  He suggested the need to be           
 extremely careful in such situations.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 309                                                                    
                                                                               
 TED BACHMAN, Captain, Division of Alaska State Troopers, Department           
 of Public Safety (DPS), came forward to testify on behalf of the              
 department, which administers the sex offender registration                   
 programs.  A trooper for 19 years, he is presently assigned to the            
 director's office in Anchorage.                                               
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN advised members that the Governor is very                     
 supportive of anything to strengthen public protection efforts                
 through the sex offender registration process.  He commented, "In             
 fact, he has introduced HB 186 and SB 132 to address many of the              
 issues that are found in this bill as well."                                  
                                                                               
 Number 320                                                                    
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN said one area of this bill that causes them the               
 greatest concern is elevating the crime of failing to register as             
 a sex offender from a class A misdemeanor to a class C felony.  He            
 stated, "First of all, I would like to give the misdemeanor law               
 that we presently have a chance to work; and I'll talk in a minute            
 about what we're doing now to make that happen.  But we don't feel            
 that making this a felony will make a tremendous difference in the            
 compliance.  We feel that enforcement is the actual key to that               
 compliance issue.  When you consider all the added requirements               
 that are brought about by a felony charge, we feel that it would              
 cause a lot more of our precious resources to be devoted to fewer             
 enforcement actions.  And we would rather see those additional                
 resources devoted to the actual enforcement ..., rather than                  
 increasing the cost of each individual enforcement."                          
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN continued, "One way of possibly putting this into             
 perspective as far as the level of offense is concerned might be to           
 view this change in this context.  If we proceed with this change,            
 a person would be charged with a class C felony for failing to                
 register as a sex offender.  But if a person were to beat their               
 `significant other,' they would only be charged with a class A                
 misdemeanor.  And, you know, we certainly want to address ... both            
 issues, but it does kind of help to put it kind of in a better                
 perspective when you think of it in those terms. ... And I should             
 say also that as a class A misdemeanor, the sex offender who fails            
 to register could be jailed for up to a year, just on this charge             
 alone.  So, once again, we'd like to give the present law a chance            
 to work with the increased enforcement effort ... that we have                
 underway right now."                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 346                                                                    
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN discussed what the department has done since                  
 introduction of this bill, saying, "We no longer record or maintain           
 a record of people who had accessed the sex offender lists or                 
 individual offender record sheets; it's completely anonymous.  We             
 don't keep any record of who comes in and asks for it. ... In fact,           
 if a person walks into one of our offices and asks for a copy, we             
 simply just hand them a copy without any kind of identification               
 whatsoever.  We don't ask them what they're going to do with it.              
 We simply give it to them."                                                   
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN continued, "We publish the sex offender registry on           
 the Internet.  It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,              
 communitywide, statewide; it's even available worldwide, if                   
 somebody wanted to access it from anyplace in the world.  It's                
 updated every business day.  So, it is the most current information           
 available anywhere.  It's even more current than, say, you would              
 get if you walked into our office in Fairbanks; they would have the           
 most recent list that we'd sent to Fairbanks, but getting it off              
 the Internet would be current within 24 hours ... on any given                
 business day.  And it is true that the Internet is not available in           
 every community in this state and not available to everyone.  But,            
 as you're certainly aware, that is changing rather rapidly.  And              
 additionally, Internet access is completely anonymous; there's no             
 record of who accesses that information."                                     
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN continued, "The sex offender registry lists and               
 individual offender information sheets are now available to anyone            
 at no cost.  We used to charge for those lists; we used to charge             
 for the costs of producing this list.  We no longer do that.  You             
 can go to any state trooper post in the state and get a copy of the           
 list or order up a copy of an individual offender's particular                
 information sheet.  And we give that to anybody at no charge,                 
 again, in an effort to make this as widely accessible as possible."           
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN stated, "In an effort to increase the level of                
 enforcement, we've dedicated a clerk to do nothing but conduct                
 computer research into the information that may assist a police               
 officer anywhere in the state in locating and charging sex                    
 offenders who fail to register.  The clerk researches last known              
 addresses, vehicles registered, permanent fund dividend                       
 applications, ... property tax records, Department of Corrections             
 computer information, anything that's out there that she can                  
 research with a computer and put together in a packet to help us to           
 narrow down where this person might be and then hand this packet              
 off to a police officer, who now doesn't have to do ... any of the            
 footwork, any of the research.  It's all done for them.  And they             
 can simply go to the last known address or look for these vehicles            
 that they know were registered to (indisc.) individual.  So, we               
 hope to use less expensive resources to more accurately focus our             
 more expensive resources, the people who actually have to go out              
 and (indisc.) contact with these people."                                     
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN continued, "We have dedicated one trooper position            
 here in Anchorage to do two things.  The one thing that he does is            
 he coordinates the enforcement effort statewide, to the extent that           
 he can.  When we produce a packet on someone in Fairbanks or                  
 Juneau, this trooper would then contact somebody personally in one            
 of those communities and say, `I have this packet coming your way;            
 could you please go see if you can round this guy up?'  The other             
 thing that he does is he does actual enforcement here in the                  
 Anchorage area.  And as you well know, there are quite a few sex              
 offenders just in this area.  Since he's been doing this, he's                
 already charged six people with failing to register, which is about           
 as many as were charged statewide all of last year.  And this is              
 just about at a month or so.  So, that is, hopefully, going to have           
 an impact in that we put that out to the press every time we make             
 one of these charges.  And as we make more of them, then ... it               
 becomes more known that we're coming after these people.                      
 Hopefully, others will come and voluntarily comply; at least,                 
 that's ... our thought at this point."                                        
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN concluded, "Lastly, you're going to hear from the             
 Department of Corrections this morning, and they're going to talk             
 to you about some very important steps in this process that they're           
 doing to help us with the people who are in custody and who are out           
 there under probationary supervision."  He thanked the committee              
 and offered to answer questions.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 421                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked what had transpired with the six people that             
 they had come up with who had failed to register.                             
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN replied, "Well, Mr. Chairman, we do the computer              
 research, and we send this trooper out to actually find these                 
 people.  Once he locates them, it is our position that we are going           
 to charge them.  That may ultimately be resolved later with the               
 Department of Law, depending on their plans.  But we would actually           
 go and knock on their door or go to their last known place of                 
 business and tell them that they need to come downtown and                    
 register.  And we also cite them for failing to register. ... And             
 then the normal process, ... it's a fixed procedure for a                     
 misdemeanor, failing to register."                                            
                                                                               
 Number 435                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked whether most of the people being               
 picked up aren't unconditionally released.                                    
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN replied, "That is correct.  We're actually very               
 early into this process.  So, that 15-year period, you know, really           
 hasn't come into play at this point. ... We have maybe a few people           
 early in at ... the beginning of this law who have a significant              
 chunk of that ... unconditional discharge period already past.  But           
 it really has not come into play yet; it's too early at this                  
 point."                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 447                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said, "That being subject to a condition             
 for even a misdemeanor would be a violation of a conditional                  
 release, and they would probably buy themselves additional time on            
 the underlying offense."                                                      
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN responded, "Yes, they certainly could.  And I would           
 expect that if the prosecution went forward and they were                     
 ultimately convicted, they certainly could, yes."                             
                                                                               
 Number 455                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE referred to earlier discussion of the option             
 of passing a law that would require a criminal background check for           
 anyone, including volunteers.  He asked for Captain Bachman's                 
 reaction to that.                                                             
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN replied, "The checks would be, in fact, for                   
 criminal convictions.  But the investigations or checks would,                
 themselves, would not be actual criminal investigations.  And the             
 reason I'm saying that is that any agency with access to criminal             
 history records could conduct those checks.  It wouldn't                      
 necessarily have to be the Department of Public Safety or a                   
 municipal law enforcement agency.  An agency, for instance, who               
 might oversee child care licensing and that sort of thing, like               
 [the Department of] Health and Social Services, could in fact                 
 themselves conduct those checks.  I think it would be a very simple           
 process that would not require a tremendous amount of resource.               
 And, ... as you know, the law currently provides for the ability to           
 do that but doesn't require that it be done.  So, I think with a              
 minor amount of resources, ... anybody with access ... could                  
 certainly conduct those checks."                                              
                                                                               
 Number 483                                                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked whether those kinds of searches are            
 narrowly tailored to sex offenses or whether they include any                 
 criminal history.                                                             
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN replied, "Let me say that I think that generally              
 they would be tailored just to sex offenses.  I think it could                
 depend on what kind of a check you were conducting, and for what              
 purpose.  I certainly think that other criminal convictions could             
 certainly come into play.  And I think in the context that we're              
 speaking here, it would generally be sex offenses that we would be            
 looking at."                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 496                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that they'd dedicated a trooper.  He asked,              
 "But as far as a burdensome thing, do you see anything else in the            
 bill itself that would tend to increase your workload beyond the              
 normal activity?"                                                             
                                                                               
 CAPTAIN BACHMAN replied, "Mr. Chairman, there are some things that            
 certainly will increase our workload, but they're also going to be            
 mandated nationwide.  This is going to bring some additional people           
 into the registration process, for instance, the child kidnapper              
 people.  It also brings in, my recollection is, people who engage             
 in ... some of the prostitution crimes.  It's also going to                   
 require, and I don't recall that it's in this particular bill or              
 not, but there's going to be some increased contact or                        
 communication with the registry, more often than they're required             
 to now, that is going to increase our workload.  And it is going to           
 have some fiscal impact.  But, as I say, that is something that               
 we're all going to have to live with, and we're certainly happy to            
 do that."                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 520                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES commented via teleconference that              
 comparing a sex offender who doesn't register to someone who beats            
 up a spouse or significant other isn't a good comparison.  "I think           
 the sex offenders are more dangerous," she added.                             
                                                                               
 Number 550                                                                    
                                                                               
 BRUCE RICHARDS, Program Coordinator, Office of the Commissioner,              
 Department of Corrections (DOC), came forward to testify.  He                 
 stated, "I guess I'll start with something Captain Bachman                    
 mentioned.  The Department of Corrections recently, at the                    
 beginning of October, started to register sex offenders prior to              
 them leaving the institutions. ... The system prior to this was               
 that you had seven days ... after leaving a correctional facility             
 to register with the Department of Public Safety.  And it's been              
 stepped up now where ... you register before you get out.  It seems           
 to make more sense, you know, to get a better idea of who these               
 people are. ... I even think that if you go a step further, when              
 you get a conviction, which was brought up previously, it makes               
 even more sense.  So, ... that is something ... that's going on and           
 I think will help this process, will help the public safety. ... It           
 will help protect the public."                                                
                                                                               
 MR. RICHARDS next referred to the class C felony and to the fiscal            
 note from the Department of Corrections, which he'd prepared the              
 previous year when this bill was scheduled for a hearing.  He                 
 explained that the fiscal note was based on the prior year's                  
 admissions and actual incarcerations of people who had been charged           
 for failure to register.  He stated, "And as you know now, with the           
 stepped-up enforcement by the Department of Public Safety, these              
 numbers will probably change significantly with the class C felony.           
 You're talking about a two-year presumptive sentence, because these           
 people are already felons, prior to failing to register.  So, we're           
 going to have them awhile.  And it costs money.  And ... there's              
 different numbers out there about how many people are actually out            
 there that aren't registered; it ranges anywhere from 1,000 to                
 1,200.  If you were to have a stepped-up enforcement effort and we            
 were to collect all of them, 61 million bucks, roughly, just for              
 the incarceration costs."                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. RICHARDS said that doesn't include operation of those new                 
 facilities.  That is just taking the per-day cost of incarceration            
 and multiplying it out.  It is a significant impact, and the                  
 current fiscal note is obviously not going to cover this,                     
 especially with stepped-up enforcement.  He emphasized that this              
 will have a major impact on the Department of Corrections, which he           
 hopes they'll consider in deliberations.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 597                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES expressed intense concern about people                   
 registering and doing so in the proper location.  She mentioned the           
 $61 million cost versus the value of a life.  While she understood            
 not having space in the correctional system, she said keeping                 
 people on the street isn't the way to deal with it.  She suggested            
 they should be making a decision on "what is going to make them               
 register, not penalize them for not registering."                             
                                                                               
 [Representative Berkowitz spoke briefly but it is not on the tape.]           
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-83, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. RICHARDS mentioned a further issue that involves another                  
 presumptive sentence, which is perjury, such as when a person puts            
 down the wrong address.  He believes that is a class B felony, with           
 a four-year presumptive sentence.  He doesn't know the inaccuracy             
 rate or the rate of people providing false information, and there             
 is no way for him to gauge that or provide numbers for that.                  
                                                                               
 Number 010                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Okay, so failure is a two and deliberate                
 misrepresentation or lying is a four, as far as you know."                    
                                                                               
 MR. RICHARDS said yes.  He indicated that a section of the bill               
 covers perjury, and he suggested Ms. Carpeneti may address that.              
 He added, "That's perjury versus unsworn falsification, I think is            
 the issue."                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ suggested a person could get "whacked" for           
 both at the same time, as a person who committed perjury would not            
 be in compliance.                                                             
                                                                               
 MR. RICHARDS replied that he doesn't know; he isn't a lawyer.                 
                                                                               
 Number 017                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN commented that a person with a four-year presumptive           
 sentence as a felon could be shipped out-of-state.                            
                                                                               
 Number 020                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN explained that they'd put in perjury as a                 
 method of ensuring they didn't get false registrations.  The basic            
 point isn't necessarily to incarcerate people but to make it known            
 to them that the state isn't going to fool around with them any               
 longer.  They'd obey the law or else the penalties would be severe.           
 As Representative James had mentioned, while $61 million is a lot             
 of money, Representative Ryan's nine-year-old son is worth much,              
 much more than that to him.                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN suggested if we don't provide public safety as            
 a system of government, there is probably not much use in being a             
 government.  He indicated it is incumbent upon the legislature to             
 protect the citizens of the state to the best of their ability, to            
 put forth the laws necessary.  He said he can't imagine that all of           
 these people will be incarcerated at the same time, that they'll              
 all disobey the law.  He said this law is to be proactive, to keep            
 them from disobeying the law.  He didn't know how realistic the               
 1,200 figure is.  Although he hopes they won't have to                        
 reincarcerate any of them because they will obey the law, he feels            
 there is a need to have a strong "stick" to show the others that              
 this kind of behavior won't be tolerated.                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he couldn't help but applaud                    
 Representative Ryan for pointing out the need to fund public safety           
 adequately.  He indicated the Alaska State Troopers are already               
 unfunded by 30 or 31 posts now.  He encouraged adequate funding,              
 saying that is the surest route we have to generating public                  
 safety.                                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN commented that he believes the department                 
 already has the ability to charge someone with perjury if that                
 person registers with a false address.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 070                                                                    
                                                                               
 BARBARA BRINK, Director, Public Defender Agency, Department of                
 Administration, came forward to testify.  She expressed                       
 appreciation for Representative Ryan's efforts in this regard and             
 said it is a problem being struggled with nationwide.  She said she           
 finds herself in the pleasant position of actually concurring with            
 members of the Department of Public Safety and the Department of              
 Corrections on some of her own agency's concerns.                             
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK said the first issue was whether or not it would be a               
 good idea to change this crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.  She           
 believes this should be considered seriously, with the benefits of            
 harsher penalties weighed against the likelihood that it will                 
 increase registration.                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK stated, "I know our goal for everyone is to increase                
 registration, provide more notice to the members of the public and            
 to law enforcement.  In considering increasing the penalty, you               
 must consider the increased costs.  I, like the representative from           
 the Department of Corrections, have heard different numbers about             
 those people who are in ... noncompliance, ranging from 1,200 to              
 2,500 people who have not registered.  Taking that low number, if             
 all of those people were to be prosecuted for a class C felony                
 offense - and I would suspect, as in many felonies, (indisc.)                 
 approximately 90 percent of them would be found to be indigent and            
 appointed to the Public Defender Agency - in order to comply with             
 minimal attorney standards, that would take ten additional lawyers            
 to handle that many new felonies.  The national law enforcement               
 association standards require that no lawyer handle more than 150             
 felonies per year.  That's what I'm using to base my figures on."             
                                                                               
 Number 080                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "So, I think if that's not necessary to comply           
 with the federal standards, and that's not necessary to continue              
 receiving our federal funding, that might be an area that we should           
 take a harder look at in deciding how we should handle this.  Now,            
 I would urge this committee to keep that as a misdemeanor.  Another           
 reason I would urge that is you have to really understand the large           
 gene pool that you're dealing with, with potential offenders.  This           
 bill makes it a lot harder to register.  It requires you to do it             
 more often, quarterly rather than annually.  It requires you to do            
 it a lot quicker, three days in some instances, seven days in other           
 instances.  There is a lot more information you have to give about            
 your address or your motor vehicles."                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "And so, there are more places for people to             
 slip up, to not get it together, to fail to make it down to the               
 troopers every three months.  And so, you are going to have not the           
 numbers that we're dealing with now, people who have not complied             
 with the statute, but you're going to have even more numbers                  
 because it's a lot more difficult to comply with that statute.                
 What you're doing, then, is you're grouping together those people             
 who are willful violators, those people who are blowing it off and            
 ignoring it, with those people who just aren't capable of complying           
 with dotting every `i' and crossing every `t.'  So, you would be              
 increasing the gene pool."                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK discussed unconditional discharge.  She said,                       
 "Representative Porter is correct.  Unconditional discharge means             
 you don't have any more probation, you don't have any parole,                 
 there's really nothing to supervise (indisc.).  So, you have to               
 understand how long people fall under this statute.  If a person is           
 convicted of a single sex offense, they're going to do eight years            
 in prison, presumptive term.  When they get out of prison, I can              
 tell you the prevailing rate today is they're going to do ten years           
 on probation.  So, by the time they are unconditionally discharged,           
 they've already done 18 years supervised, ten of those on parole or           
 probation with the registration requirement.  So, by the time the             
 15 years would roll around, where they would be eligible to come              
 off this list, they've been on the list for 25 years."                        
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "I'm not urging you to change the length of              
 it.  I just want you to understand that that's going to continue to           
 be a larger and larger pool of people that need to follow these               
 requirements very strictly."  She said it could lead to a larger              
 and larger pool of potential violators, both intentional and                  
 inadvertent.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 092                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK said she wanted to talk about an area that they hadn't              
 addressed yet, although it probably comes up more seriously in the            
 next bill relating to community notification.  The current bill               
 provides for newspaper notification, and she wanted to provide                
 information about the impact of newspaper community notification.             
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK advised members that Washington was the first state in              
 the country to pass the sex offender registration bill; they are              
 therefore way ahead of Alaska in terms of assessing its impact.               
 Since Washington's notification law was passed in 1990, police                
 reported 33 harassment cases of those people, following 942                   
 community notifications.                                                      
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK stated, "That means that when they put that out to the              
 general public, about 3-1/2 percent of all those people suffer as             
 victims of crime later than that, because of people's feeling that            
 `these people aren't acceptable in my community,' that they                   
 shouldn't be allowed to live.  It invokes a lot of strong emotions            
 in people.  In Everett, people picketed outside of a sex offender's           
 apartment until he had to move.  Other people had their homes set             
 on fire, rocks, things of that nature."                                       
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "I'm not saying that, you know, we should                
 place their interests and their rights to privacy above everyone              
 else's.  All I'm saying is we should consider very seriously the              
 impact of how far we take this information and how far we spread              
 it.  And it seems to me that a system that the troopers have                  
 devised is very effective, because it takes those people who are              
 interested and have a vested interest in getting that information,            
 but it makes it as easy as it can be for them to get that                     
 information.  So, the information isn't distributed randomly to               
 those people who don't have an interest or a legitimate interest              
 and just want to use it to create difficulties or problems."                  
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "Additionally, we all know that that kind of             
 public notification and stigmatizing could hinder someone's ability           
 to rehabilitate themselves.  I'd be interested in hearing those               
 figures on recidivism myself.  After being in this business for 15            
 years, I think it's really dangerous to try to predict what people            
 are going to do in the future.  I mean, psychologists and                     
 psychiatrists and people -- we're all assuming these people are               
 going to do something bad in the future.  That's a really tricky              
 area, and it's really difficult to predict someone's actions in the           
 future, based on their actions in the past."                                  
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK said that brought her to her final point.  She said she'd           
 be interested in seeing Representative Ryan's sexual predator law.            
 She stated, "I know that's the new wave of the future, that people            
 are considering that.  And, of course, I don't have any specific              
 comments to address to that, but the idea that -- psychiatrists and           
 community corrections professionals and the criminal justice system           
 for years have been trying to predict future behavior.  And it's a            
 really dangerous thing in locking people up because we think we               
 know what they're going to be doing in the future."                           
                                                                               
 Number 120                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated, "You expressed a strong concern that what              
 we're doing now is adequate, and yet your opening remark was that             
 there's somewhere between 1,200 and 2,500 unregistered sex                    
 offenders."                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK said those figures were provided from the Department of             
 Corrections.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN responded that 1,200 or 2,500 is a significant                 
 number either way.  He asked, "And if we don't do something more              
 than we're doing now, can we anticipate that that's going to stay             
 at a very high number?  I mean, there hasn't been anything to                 
 reduce it yet."  He asked how many are out there that we don't know           
 about, that haven't been caught.  He further asked whether we are             
 subjecting our youth to a jungle if we don't do something                     
 significant.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 130                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK replied, "I understand your question, Mr. Chairman.  And            
 I think what I've taken note of is the changes that have been made.           
 I think the DOC policy of registering people before they ever get             
 out takes care of a large number of those people, because those               
 people do serve jail time.  I mean, those are people who, due to              
 presumptive sentencing and our current state of the laws, are going           
 to jail.  So, I would suspect that since we've instituted that                
 policy, which I understand is recent, we're going to have much                
 better compliance with anyone new.  Additionally, there's a notice            
 problem."                                                                     
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "Now, the rules have changed, and any client             
 that I represent gets their judgment and it has the requirement               
 right on it.  For years before we had a bill like this, nobody knew           
 that ten years later, 15 years later, 20 years later they were                
 going to have to register.  And so, I think there's a lack of                 
 knowledge for those people who have been out of jail for quite a              
 while and are already back in their communities and ... hadn't had            
 any problems, so that the problem is getting those older folks into           
 the system, because it's new.  And I think the changes that have              
 been instituted will help us catch up and get a much greater                  
 compliance number."                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 143                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked, "From your position, do you feel that a more            
 severe penalty or potential, such as being a felony, would have any           
 influence upon a conviction?  In other words, here's ... an accused           
 sex offender in court, and the judge is looking at the potential of           
 incarceration by presumptive sentence and then this period of                 
 registration and the consequences of a stubbed toe along the way.             
 Is there, in your mind, any influence on the judicial system that             
 says, `Well, I think I'll err on the side of safety here, because             
 that's a pretty stiff sentence for this poor old guy.'"                       
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK replied, "Mr. Chairman, I think given the nature of the             
 violations that I have seen, increased penalty wouldn't be a                  
 factor.  Most of the violations I have seen have been rural                   
 Alaskans who aren't in touch with world and community events on the           
 cutting edge, who are busy living subsistence lifestyles in remote            
 locations, who have not made a conscious decision not to register             
 but just it isn't the number-one priority in their lives.  And                
 perhaps it should be, but they're not considering jail or penalties           
 or anything like that.  Many of the violators that I've come in               
 contact with were inspired by the simple citation to run down                 
 immediately and register.  And I think that my experience would be            
 borne out by the experience of the members of Public Safety.  Those           
 people get that ticket; they go register.  It's not like they're              
 making a conscious choice and saying, `I'm going to lie in wait;              
 I'm going to hide; I'm not going to comply with this.'"                       
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK continued, "And secondly, Representative Berkowitz had              
 brought out a good point.  We recently represented a gentleman                
 accused of failure to register, ... and he was charged with the               
 misdemeanor.  He had registered upon release from jail.  He had               
 registered the first time he moved.  And I think he even registered           
 the second time he moved.  But he failed to register the third time           
 that he moved.  And he was in compliance with everything else.  He            
 was seeing his probation officer.  He was not supervised (indisc.).           
 And he was prosecuted.  Even though he had demonstrated a                     
 willingness and an ability to register, for some reason at that               
 period of his life, it didn't become a priority.  He not only was             
 prosecuted for the misdemeanor; they did (indisc.) felony probation           
 for the underlying offense that he was serving time for.  So, I               
 think that the message is getting out there and that people are               
 getting better notice and that, with the assistance of the DOC and            
 DPS, there will be better compliance."                                        
                                                                               
 Number 173                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether the fear of retribution is a factor.             
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK replied, "I don't think it's so much the fear of                    
 retribution as ignorance and nonprioritization.  Even the ticket              
 was enough to make them go.  So, would the fact that it was a C               
 felony have improved their awareness?  I don't think so.  It's just           
 making that a priority, giving them good notice, making sure that -           
 - I mean, this bill requires them to do that every three months.              
 That's a fairly onerous request.  And so, getting them in the habit           
 of doing that would be sufficient, I think ...."                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN commented that it is a pretty heinous crime to                 
 commit against society, and if it causes a little inconvenience, it           
 doesn't bother him at all.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 184                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said it had been recently brought to his                 
 attention that the Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) has           
 different standards for how they define child abuse, depending on             
 whether an Alaska Native is involved.  He asked whether Ms. Brink             
 knew whether different standards apply relating to sexual abuse.              
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK replied, "I think the benefit of the criminal milieu, as            
 opposed to the child protective milieu, is that things are very               
 well defined.  There is no doubt about what constitutes sexual                
 abuse of a minor."                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated his belief that while sexual offense is           
 a broad category and some people undoubtedly can change, pedophiles           
 will not change, as that is their sexual nature.                              
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK replied, "I agree with you that predilection, research              
 has shown, is something that is ingrained.  But I think the                   
 interesting things the literature and the experts talk about is               
 whether or not the behavior or the conduct can be changed.  And I             
 know that the Western Washington sex offender program and the                 
 Hiland Mountain program, they are concerned with changing behavior.           
 They realize that you may not be able to change the way someone               
 thinks.  But you certainly can empower them with the ability to               
 control their conduct, and that's the basis of their work."  She              
 said the question is whether they've successfully completed a                 
 program that gives them the ability to say, "And that's never going           
 to happen again; I'm never going to do that again."                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE inquired about the success rate.                         
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK replied that there is conflicting literature.                       
                                                                               
 Number 217                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Ms. Brink to explain the Kansas case           
 where the Supreme Court came down on the sexual predator; he said             
 he hadn't read it.                                                            
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK said it had been a while since she read it.  As she                 
 understood it, there is a very high burden of proof upon the states           
 to prove that someone "absolutely, positively cannot be trusted out           
 in public."  It would be similar in analogy to standards for                  
 committing people to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API), that             
 they are a danger to themselves or others such that it is not safe            
 to let them go.  Ms. Brink said, "And so, I believe that if a state           
 were to impose a system like that, they would necessarily have to             
 include an adjudication process whereby that person had due                   
 process, the state would have to meet that level of proof, and they           
 would be entitled to defend themselves, because in essence what               
 you're doing is you're locking people up based on what you think              
 they're going to do in the future."                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked whether Ms. Brink remembered the                  
 factual situation.                                                            
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK said no and offered to get that information for the next            
 hearing.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 232                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said he applauds the efforts of the various               
 agencies to become proactive since the introduction of this bill.             
 He noted that few crimes in our society make a person more of a               
 pariah.  He stated, "I personally feel that, as a policy-making               
 body for the state, that whatever it takes to ensure the safety of            
 our children is what we have to do.  And I'm willing to go, as you            
 can see from the legislation, the extra mile.  I don't want to                
 interfere with anybody's ability to be rehabilitated.  I hope that            
 rehabilitation is possible, if not, the change of behavior, so that           
 they may not be able to be rehabilitated but they stop doing what             
 they do.  And that's the purpose behind it.  The severity of this             
 is such that there's a big `stick' out there.  You know that your             
 probation is revoked.  Under the felony conviction, you're going to           
 the slammer.  And, hopefully, ... that will make these people                 
 comply with the law."                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN noted that people do move a lot.  The bill                
 addresses not only registration of their own vehicles, but they               
 must also reveal other vehicles they have access to and may use.              
 Noting that people caution their children not to talk to strangers,           
 take candy from strangers, and so forth, Representative Ryan said             
 people have told him of some of the insidious ways in which the               
 offenders act.  They have an instinctive ability to relate to a               
 child on the child's level.  They will say things, for instance,              
 such as, "I've lost my dog; will you help me come look for it?"               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RYAN said it is difficult for adults who don't                 
 engage in this behavior to surmise that these people have this                
 ability to get this level of communication with children.  Since              
 obtaining some knowledge, he has of course counseled his son to be            
 very careful.  Representative Ryan said he doesn't know what the              
 solution is but hopes this will be a potential solution.  "But if             
 we have to err on any side, I'd rather be more severe than too                
 lenient," he concluded.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 268                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated his understanding that this is a continuing             
 cycle, as abused children or sexually molested children then become           
 abusers or molesters themselves.  He suggested that in deliberating           
 the cost of trying to stop it, they should consider the future as             
 well; if they could stop it now, perhaps there would be fewer                 
 instances in the next generation.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 277                                                                    
                                                                               
 DENALI DANIELS, Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), came forward           
 to testify.  She noted there had been some concern expressed                  
 regarding the profile of these predators; she said it is difficult            
 to define.  Referring to the possibility of unconditional                     
 sentencing, she said she knew it was in an "infancy" stage; she               
 acknowledged that there is no way to comment on something that is             
 not yet in writing.                                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MS. DANIELS explained that STAR does education in the schools and             
 youth groups in the Anchorage area, and it is the only agency in              
 the state that deals strictly with sexual assault.  It is "abundant           
 in resources in this area."  She said that if this legislature gets           
 to the point to where they are discussing "what things in a                   
 predator could come out later" regarding sentencing and how long              
 they are in jail, that probably needs to be talked about a lot,               
 with "many, many people, including agencies like STAR, involved."             
 She noted that in just determining how to define it, there are so             
 many different levels of a sexual predator.  While she realizes the           
 intent of this bill relates to children, the language covers other            
 victims of sexual assault, and there are many different victims.              
 She concluded by saying the main thing she wanted to point out is             
 the "different sides of sexual predators and how we're going to               
 define them and who is going to be involved in that process."                 
                                                                               
 Number 316                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested that Ms. Daniels submit any concepts.  He            
 then called on Ms. Carpeneti.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 320                                                                    
                                                                               
 ANNE D. CARPENETI from the Department of Law spoke again on HB 252.           
 She said it is obviously time to give increased scrutiny to sex               
 offender registration.  House Bill 252 is similar to the Governor's           
 bill in many ways, and it goes a long way towards satisfying the              
 federal requirements of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against                   
 Children and Sexually Violent Offenders Registration Act.                     
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI expressed concern about two areas of the bill.  The             
 first, mentioned earlier, is raising to a class C felony the                  
 offense of failing to register, which also includes under the bill            
 failure to file a quarterly address verification notice; that can             
 be as minor as failing to put in the mailbox a return receipt                 
 verifying that one's address is the same as it was 90 days before.            
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI explained, "We believe that a class A misdemeanor,              
 which is the maximum one year in jail and a significant fine,                 
 strikes a reasonable balance between the need to have serious                 
 consequences for the failure to register, or to file your quarterly           
 address verification notice, and the possibility of building up               
 charges on a person ....  You should remember that ... a C felony             
 would be a guaranteed presumptive term, because this will be the              
 second conviction for a felony offense; so that's a two-year                  
 presumptive sentence."                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI referred to page 4 and said the other area of concern           
 relates to Section 8 of the bill, which provides that filing                  
 incorrect information in the registration statement would be a                
 perjury offense.  Present law provides that filing incorrect                  
 information is unsworn falsification, a class A misdemeanor.  Ms.             
 Carpeneti said this seems to be a reasonable hammer over a person             
 to file accurate information.  Perjury is a class D felony, which             
 would result in a presumptive term of four years in jail, because             
 this will be a second felony offense.  Ms. Carpeneti specified that           
 those were their major concerns with this particular version of the           
 sex offender registration bill.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 370                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI explained that custodial interference is not covered            
 under the sex offender registration program; it is an affirmative             
 defense to kidnapping when a relative of a child under 18 takes               
 custody of the child with the primary intent of taking custody.  It           
 would not fall under kidnapping in the first degree, which is                 
 required to be registered under the Wetterling Act unless it does             
 fall into this custodial interference category.                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated it falls under Title 11.                             
                                                                               
 Number 380                                                                    
                                                                               
 JANICE LIENHART, Victims for Justice, came forward to testify,                
 saying they are supportive of this issue.  She suggested that from            
 the victims' point of view, in terms of preventing crime, predators           
 should never get out of jail.  "And every time they get out, you              
 feel sad because you realize there's going to be other victims,"              
 she said.  "I mean, we don't work with sexual assault, but we hear            
 so many terror stories of what it's been like when someone has                
 violated you.  And when you're working with victims, ... one of the           
 most important thing[s] you have to do is you have to learn to walk           
 through your pain.  You don't avoid it.  You have to walk through             
 it.  And I honestly feel that when we're working with criminals, we           
 need to use that approach, because we make excuses for them, we               
 provide all these loopholes for them, and our laws are made to                
 protect them because they don't want to put an innocent person in             
 jail.  And it often works to the adverse, and of course the victim            
 is the one that suffers the most."                                            
                                                                               
 MS. LIENHART said she is well aware of these sexual predators and             
 has heard tales about them.  They admit they are predators, and               
 they have ways of manipulating people that others can't even begin            
 to think about.  She believes that a necessary approach, applicable           
 to most of our crime issues, is getting the communities involved.             
 She suggested having a "really incredible education program" to               
 make the communities aware of how sex offenders manipulate and how            
 dangerous they are, beyond the Department of Corrections just                 
 sending a letter; she suggested the department could even have sex            
 offenders on television telling people what they actually do.  She            
 indicated that with such education in the communities, people would           
 be prepared to deal with the predators.                                       
                                                                               
 MS. LIENHART acknowledged that this probably couldn't be made into            
 a law because of rights.  She stated, "But somehow, those guys have           
 to be accountable, they have to face the music by facing their                
 community instead of letting a letter do it, so they never have to            
 be seen and kind of can disguise themselves."  She suggested if               
 people can identify them and know them, and be aware of how                   
 manipulative they are, the predators won't get away with anything.            
 "And your kids will be safer because the kids will ... avoid him              
 when he gets too nice," she concluded.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 432                                                                    
                                                                               
 KIMBERLEE VANDERHOOF testified via teleconference from Fairbanks.             
 Referring to Barbara Brink's testimony and the indication that                
 about 3.5 percent of those whose names were published in Washington           
 were harassed, Ms. Vanderhoof noted that harassment is also a                 
 crime.  If convicted sex offenders are harassed, chances are they             
 would be able to identify the people harassing them or provide law            
 enforcement with enough information to prosecute those people with            
 harassment.  She suggested that providing names in a public forum,            
 including the Internet specifically, will give "our community and             
 Fairbanks" a real sense of empowerment for the public to protect              
 itself.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. VANDERHOOF continued, "Right now, we only have three                      
 investigators assigned to sex crimes, and it's a major concern of             
 mine that we're talking about overburdening a system here in                  
 Fairbanks that really needs more funding.  If we're going to make             
 failure to register a class C felony, what are we going to do about           
 the Department of Corrections, who's already housing inmates in the           
 chapel, that is already overcrowded and overburdened?  I think that           
 making it a class C felony is going to throw straw on a camel's               
 back when the camel is already on its knees."                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES informed listeners that she had to leave.                
                                                                               
 Number 567                                                                    
                                                                               
 SUZANNE MANNIKKO came forward to testify.  Referring to                       
 registration on the Internet, she pointed out that when someone               
 doesn't want to be found by a process server, for instance, that              
 person gives vague addresses.  She provided examples from a list              
 that she had marked.  A sex offender who lived near her had                   
 provided a vague address, 1.1 mile on her own road, despite the               
 fact that everyone living on that road has a specific address.  She           
 travels that road daily; at that spot, there is a "conical box and            
 a vacant lot" on one side of the road and 20 acres of undeveloped             
 land on the other side.  Furthermore, when she'd pulled up this               
 person's registration by zip code, a second registration listed his           
 physical address as a post office box.  Ms. Mannikko stated, "I               
 have several of these sex offenders who are doing this.  Well, law            
 enforcement may have privy to more information than I do, but this            
 is unacceptable."                                                             
                                                                               
 MS. MANNIKKO said she and her sister are for this bill, but they              
 feel it is just a small step in a long step that needs to be taken.           
 She discussed a sexual predator, Charles Jacobs (ph), who'd conned            
 children by providing candy and toys.  In 1981, Mr. Jacobs had a              
 felony offense involving children; between 1981 and 1992, he was              
 charged with dangerous drugs, contributing to the delinquency of a            
 minor and assault; and in 1992, he was charged with sexual assault            
 and carnal felony abuse involving children.                                   
                                                                               
 MS. MANNIKKO said she'd gone to the courthouse to see what the                
 district attorney (DA) is recommending for a sentence for Mr.                 
 Jacobs.  A trial had been planned for July, but the defendant                 
 changed his plea.  Ms. Mannikko stated, "So now the DA makes a deal           
 with this man for a third-time felon, one count, ten year maximum.            
 Disgusting.  Absolutely disgusting. ... Second count, two years."             
 Noting that this man would be sentenced on November 7, Ms. Mannikko           
 indicated the offender was looking at maybe ten years; with "good             
 time and whatever," he'd serve less than that.                                
                                                                               
 MS. MANNIKKO stated, "And this is just one of the most horrible               
 crimes against our children.  This crime destroys children's souls,           
 and we've got to stop it.  The recidivism rate, we know how high it           
 is. ... We see it in the paper every day.  We have to find the                
 money to put these people away.  We need to change our priorities             
 and find the funds to put these terrible people away."                        
                                                                               
 Number 551                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated that although a big enough sentence            
 may be a threat to these people, he doesn't believe that is the               
 case.  First, they don't believe they'll be caught.  And second,              
 the threat hasn't bothered them, because they re-offend.                      
 Representative Bunde stated, "We simply must warehouse some of                
 these people."  He said for protection of the public, he knows of             
 no other solution that doesn't involve an operation.                          
                                                                               
 MS. MANNIKKO commented, "This man has proved that he has a mental             
 illness.  And our state can come up with a law to put these people            
 away.  The Supreme Court has handed that down to us; we can                   
 determine them mentally ill and put them away where they need to              
 be, because you know what this does to families.  It destroys them,           
 not only the children's lives [but also] the mother that has to               
 pick up the pieces and put these little lives back together again."           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN suggested that perhaps the seemingly barbaric                  
 operation isn't so barbaric after all.  He advised members that               
 they would take this issue up again when the legislature reconvenes           
 in Juneau.  One person had some potential amendments, and there               
 would be a proposed committee substitute.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 607                                                                    
                                                                               
 "BILLIE" came forward to testify, specifying that she would provide           
 only that name because she is the mother of a sex offender and the            
 grandmother of a victim.  She and her husband, who was with her,              
 are 35-year residents of Alaska; she is a retired state employee.             
 Billie recounted her family's story, sometimes tearfully.  When               
 their son had come to them and told them that he had touched his              
 daughter inappropriately, they were very angry but decided not to             
 let their anger become destructive.  "This was a family in trouble            
 that needed help," she said.  "We encouraged our son and his family           
 and helped them get into counseling, for their mental health's                
 sake."  [Ends mid-speech because of tape change.]                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-84, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 006                                                                    
                                                                               
 BILLIE indicated her son knew that his spouse could not survive in            
 their home while he was in jail.  So they sold it, and he got them            
 established in a smaller place.  They also got into counseling.               
 And her son did go to jail, to the Palmer Correctional Center.                
 While he was there, Billie and her husband helped their son's                 
 spouse continue in college.  Billie stated, "By her very careful              
 budgeting, her student loan, her part-time job, our help from our             
 retirement income, and my shopping sales for food and clothing for            
 her and the children, she got through that period without having to           
 go on welfare.  We were determined she would not go on welfare."              
                                                                               
 BILLIE said when her son was released, they persuaded him with some           
 difficulty to move back home and return to college.  The state had            
 said he would have no contact with his children, although he had              
 contact with his spouse because of legal affairs and other things             
 they had to attend to.  Previously, he'd dropped out of college               
 because their youngest child needed four operations, and the                  
 expense had not allowed him to go to college.                                 
                                                                               
 BILLIE reported that her son and his spouse now live separately, he           
 in his parents' home and she in the other home.  Between them,                
 their part-time jobs and their student loans, they'd supported                
 their children and pursued their degrees.  Both completed their               
 degrees; their children got to see their mom and dad graduate in              
 the same year, in the same ceremony.  Both got good positions, with           
 the father's position ensuring the children's college education.              
                                                                               
 Number 028                                                                    
                                                                               
 BILLIE stated, "My granddaughter, her mother saw that she stayed              
 active.  She was in counseling.  We gave her love and support.  We            
 did not want this situation to become a lifelong thing; we wanted             
 to come out of it healthy mentally.  This family did.  And we                 
 banded together to do that.  My granddaughter excelled in the sport           
 of her choice; she won trophies.  My son, his spouse and that                 
 daughter went into counseling together after his release, so that             
 he would have access to his children.  He had a younger child that            
 didn't know what happened to dad; he just dropped out of the scene.           
 `Where is my dad?  Where is my dad?'  The state agreed for him to             
 have visiting rights with the kids, with his spouse as a third                
 party, and this was a good situation.  A good situation."                     
                                                                               
 BILLIE continued, "Then, in December when this thing happened in              
 Fairbanks, you know, the incident with the child, (indisc.), his              
 parole officer ... called him and told him there would be                     
 absolutely no contact with the children whatsoever.  And it hit him           
 like a brick wall.  Now, my son did not rape his daughter.  He                
 inappropriately touched her.  He knew they needed counseling; he              
 sacrificed his home to get that counseling.  Then when Internet               
 came on line, I saw that in the paper and I panicked.  I called               
 Sean Parnell, my Senator, and I told him the same situation I'm               
 telling you.  And I said, `Now my son will not be able to hold his            
 job; he'll have to go back to being a carpenter, and there will go            
 his children's education.'  And Sean said, `No, hold on.  Hold                
 on.'"                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 073                                                                    
                                                                               
 BILLIE said she doesn't know how much thought was given to the                
 Internet listings.  As she understood it, a "PTA mom" had wanted              
 access so that when her child or children went to Fairbanks, Kenai            
 or elsewhere for a sporting event, she could access the person's              
 home where her child was going to stay.  Billie said that                     
 information was already available to the Alaska State Troopers.               
 She told how her own teenage granddaughter's friends can readily              
 pull up the Internet and see her dad on there.  Billie said her               
 granddaughter has lost many friends and has dropped out of sports.            
 The boys treat her differently.  Although her mother transferred              
 her to another school, the Internet is there.                                 
                                                                               
 BILLIE advised members that her son hasn't lived in her home for              
 almost two years.  Since the listings on the Internet, she has had            
 numerous phone calls where no one answered, and truck tires have              
 run across the corner of her lawn.  She'd lived in that home for 15           
 years without a problem before.  And she doesn't believe it is                
 anybody from her neighborhood, because they are "grandma and                  
 grandpa to all the kids in the neighborhood."                                 
                                                                               
 BILLIE said her son lived with them almost three years.  He went to           
 work, came home and spent a lot of time on the computer.  If any              
 neighborhood kids happened to come in, he never came out of his               
 bedroom, because he was under guidance:  no children under 16.  Nor           
 did he go to Thanksgiving or Christmas get-togethers for their                
 large family, because there were children under 16.  "He has abided           
 by every rule that has been put on him," Billie stated.                       
                                                                               
 BILLIE said she believes there are many teenagers in her                      
 granddaughter's situation, whose dads are on the Internet.  If the            
 teenagers are in a computer lab and some kid decides to pull this             
 up on the computer, that child is victimized again.  Billie said              
 her granddaughter's brother has been in many fights over the abuse            
 that other kids have given her granddaughter because of this.                 
                                                                               
 BILLIE stated, "Now, this is looking at it from the standpoint of             
 an offender and a victim in the same family.  And this family has             
 bound together to come through this.  My husband says that in his             
 75 years, and my 70 years, we've been through a lot and we are                
 tempered steel and we will get through it.  But my granddaughter is           
 not tempered steel.  And she is being continually victimized by the           
 Internet.  Almost all teenagers have computers now, just like every           
 home has a TV."                                                               
                                                                               
 BILLIE suggested there should be some level of abuse that                     
 determines whether these people are listed on the Internet or for             
 other public access.  The Alaska State Troopers office maintains a            
 list; so do probation officers, who are in communication and know             
 where these people live and work.  These people are required to               
 report when they move and to where.  Billie again discussed her               
 son, a first-time nonviolent offender who has complied with                   
 everything required, who was in voluntary counseling before ever              
 going to the correctional facility and who has been in state-                 
 approved sexual counseling ever since he got out.  She said he has            
 a short time to go on his probation, and he has abided by every               
 rule, including not contacting his kids since last December.                  
                                                                               
 Number 130                                                                    
                                                                               
 BILLIE stated, "And it hurts. ... I don't know about all these                
 other people that molest multiple kids and whatnot.  I only know              
 that in our family, we have had a tragedy.  We have bound together            
 to take care of it.  And we're going to take care of it.  But my              
 granddaughter is going to be continually victimized, for 15 years,            
 if he's on that Internet, she and many, many other children that              
 are victims of incest."                                                       
                                                                               
 BILLIE said she knows that legislators struggle with laws, trying             
 to do the best and protect everybody.  She stated, "But surely                
 there is some way you can work out where these first offenders,               
 nonviolent situations, are not put on public access for the sake of           
 these children, victims.  The fact that we do not want this to                
 continue into future generations, like you said they go, that's why           
 we're having the counseling, why ... our son's still in counseling,           
 why our granddaughter went in counseling.  We do not want this to             
 further itself."                                                              
                                                                               
 BILLIE suggested that with public notification, troopers going                
 door-to-door, and mailing out letters and lists, there may be                 
 abuse.  She believes that if letters had been circulated within a             
 three-block radius while her son lived with her for three years,              
 they couldn't have produced the success story they had.  The                  
 troopers had his information, and anybody who needed it could have            
 gone there.  Billie asked, "How are these people going to                     
 rehabilitate?  Where are they going to live?  How are they going to           
 get jobs?  How are they going to keep jobs to support their                   
 families?  And if they can't support their families, then they                
 become a deadbeat dad or a deadbeat mom or whatever, and they're in           
 the second crunch.  I don't know the solution, but I wanted you to            
 know from another person's perspective."  She expressed concern               
 about how this will affect her own son's job.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 176                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN thanked Billie and said it must have taken a                   
 tremendous amount of courage for her to come there and speak.  He             
 said the committee would certainly concur that there perhaps should           
 be some degree of notification; here was a man who voluntarily came           
 forward, rather than being caught.  He assured Billie that they               
 would consider her testimony seriously, noting that the bill's                
 sponsor and the sponsor of HB 273 had both heard her comments.  He            
 then thanked participants.  (HB 252 was held over.)                           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called a brief at-ease, then called the meeting back           
 to order.                                                                     
                                                                               
 HB 273 - NOTIFY COMMUNITY ABOUT SEX OFFENDERS                                 
                                                                               
 [Contains discussion relating to HB 252.]                                     
                                                                               
 Number 202                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the next item of business, House Bill No.            
 273, "An Act relating to notification of the public concerning sex            
 offenders."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 208                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK, sponsor, read from the sponsor                  
 statement:                                                                    
                                                                               
 "The purpose of this legislation is to provide a mechanism for                
 families to better protect their children from those within our               
 society who would prey upon them.  The fact of the matter is Alaska           
 is becoming one of the worst places in the nation to raise young              
 children.  The incidence of child abuse and molestation is among              
 the highest in the nation, and I think as legislators we need to do           
 something to change that.                                                     
                                                                               
 "House Bill 273 will require the state to notify people whenever a            
 convicted sexual predator moves into their neighborhood.  This may            
 cause an increased burden upon those state agencies responsible for           
 maintaining contact with paroled offenders; however, as an incident           
 in Anchorage this past April shows, it is important that families             
 have advanced warning in any situation where their children may be            
 at risk.                                                                      
                                                                               
 "And I hope you can join me in getting behind House Bill 273 in an            
 effort to protect Alaska's children.  There is a lot of work to be            
 done, but by working together along with those state agencies                 
 involved, I believe we can provide safe neighborhoods for our                 
 children."                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 230                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK advised members that HB 273 amends an existing           
 statute by adding a new section.  She referred to page 1, line 13,            
 which says, "(C) provide notice of the name and address of a sex              
 offender and the crime for which the sex offender was convicted to            
 (i) each residence and business within a one-mile radius of the               
 address where the sex offender resides in a rural area and within             
 a three-square-block area of the address where the sex offender               
 resides in an urban area".  Representative Masek reported that it             
 will also notify the superintendent of the school district in which           
 the sex offender resides, as well as other persons the department             
 determines appropriate to notify.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK expressed her desire to work with colleagues             
 here in the legislature and with state agencies to make this a                
 better bill.  She mentioned a possible committee substitute and               
 amendments, and she stated her willingness to work towards any                
 needed changes.  She advised members that Eddie Grasser could                 
 answer technical questions.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Representative Masek was familiar with           
 HB 252, which the committee had also heard that day.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said yes, she'd listened to the testimony.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that HB 252 also amends subsection (C) and               
 adds subsection (D) as well, although it doesn't "go to the                   
 specificity" that this does, such as personal notification of                 
 everyone within a nine-square-block area or within one mile in a              
 rural area.  He also referred to testimony on HB 252 by "Billie."             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK confirmed that she had heard that testimony.             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether Representative Masek feels that this             
 bill should apply to anyone, including the case cited by Billie,              
 whose son had come forward voluntarily and then accomplished those            
 things that society said he had to do.  Chairman Green stated his             
 understanding that Billie's primary concern is notification on the            
 Internet, which obviously can be found by anyone.  He suggested               
 that Representative Masek obviously wants neighborhoods to be                 
 protected or at least aware.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 270                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK explained that she lives in an "urban setting"           
 in a rural area.  Her son and other neighborhood children live                
 there and go to the school bus; residents hadn't realized a sex               
 offender lives within walking distance of that bus stop.  When the            
 parents found out, they took more precautions to protect their                
 children.  Representative Masek acknowledged there may be different           
 classes of offenders.  She specified that she is looking at those             
 that are more dangerous to society and more dangerous to strangers            
 such as the kids out walking on the streets.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated his understanding that more than half of the            
 offenses occur within families, as they'd just heard in discussion            
 of HB 252, or by someone personally known by the child.  He                   
 expressed concern that if they went to this extent to notify this             
 nine-square-block area, there may still be a risk when the child              
 gets on the bus, goes downtown to a movie, and so forth.  He asked            
 whether notification in the neighborhood would make any major                 
 difference.  For example, the offense could be by "Uncle John," who           
 lives across town.  He clarified that he was trying to determine              
 whether these offenses are done by people within or outside of the            
 neighborhood.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 305                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK referred to an incident that April in                    
 Anchorage, in Mountain View, which involved children in a                     
 laundromat.  She said that had the parents known an offender lived            
 in that apartment complex, they'd have paid more special attention            
 to their children.                                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked the reason for the nine-square-block size.               
 For example, were most of the offenses, if they occurred within a             
 neighborhood, within a three-block area?                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK answered that it was modeled after the                   
 Louisiana law.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 326                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER indicated he had a similar question:  Is                
 there a correlation between offenses and the residence of the                 
 offender?  He said otherwise, this may be helpful but wouldn't                
 eliminate such offenses.  He mentioned the need to define                     
 "predator" in order to do everything possible to track, identify              
 and publicize those people, without having others who don't fall              
 within that definition be unnecessarily harassed for the rest of              
 their lives.  He offered to work with the sponsor to that end.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said she believes it is important for the                
 public to know that there is a predator and that there is a                   
 definition relating to different classifications.                             
                                                                               
 Number 372                                                                    
                                                                               
 EDDIE GRASSER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Masek,                 
 stated his understanding that Representative Masek's bill intends             
 to notify a neighborhood when someone who has been convicted, and             
 who is getting out of prison, moves into that neighborhood.  They'd           
 already know that a person is an offender.  Mr. Grasser indicated             
 the sponsor's office had gone through many reports, and there seems           
 to be a debatable question about the levels.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER advised members that he has some background             
 in this area.  He stated, "It's been my experience, limited as it             
 has been, that the predator that we're trying to really get at here           
 is not going to offend within three blocks of his residence.  There           
 will be some that will, no doubt about it.  But the most extreme -            
 and I don't mind using his name, Chico Rodriguez (ph) - that guy is           
 manipulative, is clever, is going to do all the kinds of things to            
 subvert any particular thing that we would try to do halfway.                 
 That's the guy, as far as I'm concerned, that ought to have his               
 picture on every telephone pole in Anchorage.  Of course, we can't            
 do that ....  But at the other end of the extreme, ... somebody who           
 got nailed for indecent exposure because they took a leak at the              
 wrong time shouldn't be dropped into this net."                               
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER noted that HB 273 was introduced at the end of session.           
 Since then, they'd talked to the commissioner's office and the                
 Department of Public Safety.  The sponsor's office had come up with           
 a whole list of questions that aren't necessarily addressed in the            
 bill right now; they are working to try to find answers, and they             
 would try to work with the Department of Public Safety to that end.           
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said some of the questions they'd raised themselves               
 address concerns raised by Billie in discussion of HB 252 that day.           
 Those include what level of offender they want to notify the                  
 community about, how long the offender will remain on the                     
 notification list, and what a resident is.  For example, does the             
 owner of an empty lot require notification?  Should each household            
 be notified, or just the president of a homeowners association?               
 Mr. Grasser said they have a whole page of questions that they need           
 to answer themselves.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether they were planning a committee                   
 substitute.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said yes.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 392                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated his questions could wait until the             
 sponsor's own questions were answered.  He suggested one rural mile           
 in the Louisiana model may not translate well to one mile in                  
 Alaska.  He brought up costs and said he'd be very interested in              
 seeing the fiscal note.  He concurred with the desire to get at the           
 "really bad guys" without victimizing people who had made a single            
 mistake.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 407                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ also expressed interest in seeing the                
 fiscal note, suggesting it may be a well-intentioned idea that,               
 unless funded adequately, would have a consequence to other aspects           
 of law enforcement.  While troopers provided notice, at the same              
 time they'd be unable to investigate other crimes, which would be             
 problematic unless this is funded adequately.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said another concern is that it seems to             
 require that the state assume an affirmative duty to notify people            
 in an area.  He asked, "And if the state fails for some reason -              
 someone moves in, someone's not home - to provide notice, and there           
 is some kind of assault that occurs subsequently, would that                  
 subject the state to a suit?  And what would the potential                    
 ramifications of that suit be?"                                               
                                                                               
 Number 423                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said that is one of the questions they'd written down.            
                                                                               
 Number 431                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK advised members that they would come back to             
 the committee, probably in January, with a proposed committee                 
 substitute and answers to the questions.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 442                                                                    
                                                                               
 TED BACHMAN, Captain, Division of Alaska State Troopers, Department           
 of Public Safety, came forward to testify, saying most of the                 
 practical issues had been raised already.  He thanked committee               
 members for their comments, which he believes are right on point.             
 He stated, "We certainly don't mean to be at all obstructionist ...           
 in this process.  We certainly support the public safety aspect of            
 it.  But when we try to apply this as a practical matter, it                  
 certainly can be very, very expensive ... and would be a tremendous           
 drain on our present resources.  So we don't have a fiscal note               
 presently, and we would like to understand better, through response           
 to some of the questions that we've raised, what will ultimately be           
 intended by this legislation, so that we can provide you with a               
 clearer idea of what the costs might be."                                     
                                                                               
 Number 464                                                                    
                                                                               
 BARBARA BRINK, Director, Public Defender Agency, Department of                
 Administration, came forward to testify, noting her agreement with            
 Representative Porter in the idea of making the "net" smaller.  She           
 said the trend in registration and notification statutes nationwide           
 is certainly in that direction.  She'd recently read a report from            
 the U.S. Department of Justice on sex offender community                      
 notification; the increasing trend is to establish some sort of               
 tier or level system to try to identify those most seriously at               
 risk for re-offending.  For example, there is a tier system in the            
 states of Washington, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon and Tennessee           
 that provides a first tier, low-risk, where information only goes             
 to law enforcement; the second tier, medium-risk, goes to selected            
 organizations such as community councils and schools; and the third           
 tier, the highest risk of re-offending, goes to everybody in the              
 community.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK referred to testimony about how there could be a wide               
 variety of types of offenders.  She said there are criteria                   
 established in these states for trying to determine that risk.  The           
 low-level offenders would be those who had "a nonviolent incident,            
 a single incident, in the family setting."  Level two encompasses             
 a situation outside of the family setting, multiple offenses, or a            
 violent offense.  And level three, the most serious, involves a               
 history of predatory sexual crimes, a history of violent offenses,            
 or even an expressed desire to continue in that behavior.                     
                                                                               
 MS. BRINK concluded, "So there have been efforts by other states to           
 really deal with that target population where community                       
 notification is effective.  And I urge this committee to, if we are           
 going to construct (indisc.) like this, to really limit it to those           
 people in the population where this is going to help."                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked whether anyone else wished to comment, then              
 concluded the hearing.  (HB 273 was held over.)                               
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 505                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN adjourned the House Judiciary Standing Committee               
 meeting.                                                                      
                                                                               

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