Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

04/03/2019 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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01:51:23 PM Start
01:52:07 PM Presentation: Status of the Second Chance Grant by the Department of Corrections
01:58:56 PM Presentation: Reentry's Role in Reducing Crime
03:17:43 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed Until 1:45 pm --
+ Presentation: Reentry's Role in Reducing Crime TELECONFERENCED
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 3, 2019                                                                                          
                           1:51 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Matt Claman, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: STATUS OF THE SECOND CHANCE GRANT BY THE                                                                          
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                                                       
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PRESENTATION: REENTRY'S ROLE IN REDUCING CRIME                                                                                  
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JANICE WEISS, Reentry Program Manager                                                                                           
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on the status of the Second                                                                    
Chance Act Grant.                                                                                                               
STEVE WILLIAMS, Chief Operating Officer                                                                                         
Alaska Mental Health Trust                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on reentry services.                                                                           
SUSANNE DIPIETRO, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on reentry services.                                                                           
DON HABEGER, Coordinator                                                                                                        
Juneau Reentry Coalition                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on reentry services.                                                                           
KELLY GOODE, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                                
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a  question during the presentation                                                             
on reentry services.                                                                                                            
CATHLEEN MCLAUGHLIN, Director                                                                                                   
Partners Reentry Center                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented on reentry services.                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:51:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MATT  CLAMAN called the House  Judiciary Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to  order at  1:51 p.m.   Representatives  Eastman, Wool,                                                               
Shaw,  LeDoux, and  Claman were  present  at the  call to  order.                                                               
Representatives Stutes  and Kopp  arrived as  the meeting  was in                                                               
^Presentation:  Status   of  the  Second  Chance   Grant  by  the                                                               
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
     Presentation: Status of the Second Chance Grant by the                                                                 
                   Department of Corrections                                                                                
1:52:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
an update and  overview from the Department  of Corrections (DOC)                                                               
on the status of the Second  Chance [Act] (SCA) Grant.  He opened                                                               
invited testimony.   He drew attention to a  document included in                                                               
the committee  packet that provided information  about the grant.                                                               
He noted that  DOC had announced earlier in the  year that it was                                                               
"not going to go forward with this particular grant."                                                                           
1:53:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JANICE   WEISS,   Reentry    Program   Manager,   Department   of                                                               
Corrections,  explained  that  the  State  of  Alaska  (SOA)  has                                                               
received two  SCA grants.   The first,  she said, was  a planning                                                               
grant worth  $100,000 that  was awarded  a few  years ago.   That                                                               
grant, she  explained, allowed  SOA to apply  for a  second grant                                                               
worth $1  million.   She described  confusion surrounding  the $1                                                               
million grant that  has since been dispelled.   She addressed the                                                               
document included in  the committee packet and  explained that it                                                               
contains the grant's  goals and implementation plan  for the next                                                               
two years.   She said  the plan will allow  DOC to work  with its                                                               
various  partners to  provide comprehensive  reentry services  to                                                               
those being released from DOC institutions.                                                                                     
1:54:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CLAMAN   asked  for   additional  information   about  the                                                               
administration's decision to change course  and move forward with                                                               
the  grant.   He  also  asked how  the  grant  will help  reentry                                                               
MS.  WEISS stated  that DOC  was  able to  better understand  the                                                               
grant when information about it  became more available.  She said                                                               
this additional  information allowed  the department  to identify                                                               
changes it wanted  to make to the grant's scope  and budget.  She                                                               
explained that she previously served  as Coalition Coordinator of                                                               
the Mat-Su  Re-entry Coalition, so she  understands how important                                                               
it is  for DOC to work  with coalitions to address  reentry.  She                                                               
said the grant has changed to  the point that, rather than having                                                               
to hire  multiple new  employees to implement  it, DOC  will only                                                               
need to hire a grant manager.  She  said DOC will make use of its                                                               
probation  officers   to  implement  the  grant   and  sustain  a                                                               
comprehensive  reentry program  that  includes DOC  institutions,                                                               
field offices, and community partners.                                                                                          
1:56:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN  asked if the  grant will enable reentry  programs -                                                               
such as the ones to be presented  on later in the meeting   to be                                                               
strengthened in support by DOC.                                                                                                 
MS. WEISS  said that  is correct.   She mentioned  a conversation                                                               
she had earlier in the day  with new probation officers about how                                                               
the grant will allow DOC to  set up an infrastructure for working                                                               
with  reentry service  providers  that will  continue beyond  the                                                               
life  of the  grant.   She noted  that DOC  Commissioner-Designee                                                               
Nancy Dahlstrom feels sustainability with  regard to the grant is                                                               
very important.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR CLAMAN asked  about the level of federal  funding coming to                                                               
SOA as a result of keeping the grant instead of turning it down.                                                                
MS. WEISS said  the level of funding from  the federal government                                                               
is $1  million.  She  said the  Bureau of Justice  Assistance has                                                               
been giving these grants for a  number of years and realized that                                                               
most recipients were  unable to spend the money in  one year.  As                                                               
a result,  she explained,  the bureau extended  the grant  to two                                                               
years, meaning  DOC will have until  the end of fiscal  year 2020                                                               
to spend the money.   She said SOA will then  be invited to apply                                                               
for a second grant.                                                                                                             
1:58:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN,  seeing no additional questions,  thanked Ms. Weiss                                                               
for her  presentation and  for participating  in the  decision to                                                               
move forward with the grant.                                                                                                    
^Presentation: Reentry's Role in Reducing Crime                                                                                 
         Presentation: Reentry's Role in Reducing Crime                                                                     
1:58:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
a presentation on reentry services.                                                                                             
1:59:34 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  WILLIAMS, Chief  Operating Officer,  Alaska Mental  Health                                                               
Trust (AMHT),  said this presentation would  build on information                                                               
previously presented  to the committee.   He added that  it would                                                               
also  illustrate  what  is  required  to  help  the  incarcerated                                                               
reenter  the community.   He  said reentry  requires partnerships                                                               
between DOC  and community  organizations.   He remarked  that 40                                                               
percent  of  AMHT beneficiaries  are  incarcerated  on an  annual                                                               
basis.     He  defined  "beneficiaries"  as   adults  and  youths                                                               
experiencing a mental health disorder,  a substance use disorder,                                                               
a  developmental disability,  a  traumatic  brain injury,  and/or                                                               
Alzheimer's Disease, dementia,  or a related disorder.   He noted                                                               
that AMHT does  not keep a list of beneficiaries.   He added that                                                               
beneficiaries are  individuals whose disorders are  so acute that                                                               
they impact their  quality of life and their  ability to function                                                               
at  an  independent  level  in  the community.    He  said  these                                                               
disorders   also  place   beneficiaries  at   a  high   risk  for                                                               
institutionalization,  whether  that  be through  a  correctional                                                               
facility, juvenile justice  facility, or psychiatric institution.                                                               
He stated  that reentry  is an important  issue for  AMHT because                                                               
its  beneficiaries are  often housed  and  released by  DOC.   He                                                               
remarked  that reentry  services must  be conducted  thoughtfully                                                               
and with deliberate planning, or  else this particular population                                                               
will cycle through  the emergency and correctional  systems at an                                                               
above-average  rate.   He  noted that  felony  offenders who  are                                                               
beneficiaries are incarcerated twice as long as non-                                                                            
beneficiaries, while misdemeanor  offenders who are beneficiaries                                                               
spend  up  to  150  times  as long  in  DOC  facilities  as  non-                                                               
beneficiaries.   He  said this  explains why  AMHT has  partnered                                                               
with DOC and other organizations.                                                                                               
2:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSANNE  DIPIETRO, Executive  Director, Alaska  Judicial Council,                                                               
began  a   PowerPoint  presentation  titled   "Reentry  Services:                                                               
Promoting Safer  & Healthier Communities" [hard  copy included in                                                               
the committee  packet].  She  addressed slide 2,  titled "Reentry                                                               
Background."    She remarked  that  the  Alaska Criminal  Justice                                                               
Commission   (ACJC)   and    various   other   criminal   justice                                                               
stakeholders have  been grappling with  the fact that  95 percent                                                               
of prisoners  will eventually be  released.  She noted  that many                                                               
of these  prisoners entered DOC  facilities with a  mental health                                                               
or substance abuse disorder, and that  many of them will exit DOC                                                               
with the same problems with which  they entered.  She ran through                                                               
a  list  of  additional  problems   that  releasees  could  face,                                                               
including loss of employment, loss  of housing, and disruption of                                                               
family ties.   She explained  that these individuals are  at risk                                                               
for  re-offense  or  violation   of  a  condition  of  probation,                                                               
especially within  the first  weeks and months  of release.   She                                                               
said research  shows that the likelihood  of recidivism decreases                                                               
when  reentry support  services  are frontloaded  and focused  on                                                               
medium- to higher-risk individuals.                                                                                             
2:05:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO addressed  slide  3,  titled "What  do  we mean  by                                                               
'reentry'?"   She  said the  focus of  reentry is  on a  specific                                                               
group of people who have  left a correction facility after having                                                               
completed their sentence and who  may be under active supervision                                                               
by  a  probation  or  parole officer,  though  some     typically                                                               
misdemeanor  offenders      are   instead  under   passive  court                                                               
supervision.    She remarked  that  these  individuals are  being                                                               
returned to the  community, though not necessarily  to their home                                                               
communities.  She said some people  are unable to return to their                                                               
home communities  due to  supervision or  treatment requirements.                                                               
She said reentry programs attempt to help those people.                                                                         
MR.  WILLIAMS noted  that releasees  are not  always released  to                                                               
their  home  communities  because treatment  programs  are  often                                                               
unavailable or inaccessible in their  home communities.  This, he                                                               
explained,  means some  individuals are  released in  communities                                                               
such  as Fairbanks  or  Anchorage for  the  purpose of  accessing                                                               
those services.   She said  this presents a challenge  to reentry                                                               
planning, as the goal is to  allow people to return to their home                                                               
2:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL noted  that it is important  for releasees to                                                               
not be  stranded in a  strange city  without family support.   On                                                               
the topic of  treatment, he asked whether  the programs described                                                               
by Mr.  Williams are mandatory  to comply with the  conditions of                                                               
one's release.   He  mused that  having to stay  in a  place like                                                               
Anchorage in order abide by  those conditions, resulting in being                                                               
away from  one's home and  family, could exacerbate  a releasee's                                                               
problems, and  that perhaps  it should be  a priority  to release                                                               
those individuals  to their  home communities  where they  have a                                                               
better support system.                                                                                                          
MR. WILLIAMS noted that the  conditions by which an individual is                                                               
ordered to  abide are made by  the court and are  often connected                                                               
to the  crime itself.   He said  some communities have  access to                                                               
residential substance  abuse programming, but the  programming is                                                               
not  always   suitable  to  meet   the  needs  of   a  particular                                                               
2:09:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WILLIAMS addressed  slide  4,  titled "Sequential  Intercept                                                               
Model (SIM),"  which featured  a flow  chart depicting  the model                                                               
developed  to address  the needs  of adults  in contact  with the                                                               
criminal  justice  system.    He walked  through  the  model  and                                                               
discussed the path an offender  takes from leaving the community,                                                               
entering the  criminal justice and correctional  system, and then                                                               
returning  to  the  community  upon reentry.    He  repeated  the                                                               
statistic  that  95 percent  of  people  in  the system  will  be                                                               
released into the  community.  He said the  same things necessary                                                               
to  prevent individuals  from violating  in the  first place  are                                                               
also necessary on the back  end to help releasees reintegrate and                                                               
prevent recidivism.                                                                                                             
MR. WILLIAMS  addressed slide  5, which  displayed only  a quote:                                                               
 Successful  reentry begins  on admission  and continues  through                                                               
incarceration, release, community  supervision and ultimately the                                                               
unsupervised  and successful  reintegration  [of the  individual]                                                               
onto  the  community."    He emphasized  the  goal  of  achieving                                                               
unsupervised reintegration.                                                                                                     
2:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WILLIAMS  addressed slide  6,  titled  "History -  Statewide                                                               
Reentry Efforts."   He explained that reentry has  been a focused                                                               
effort by DOC,  AMHT, and other organizations prior  to 2010, but                                                               
noted that the  statewide Prisoner Reentry Task  Force was formed                                                               
in that year.  He said  the new task force, which included newly-                                                               
formed  grassroots reentry  coalitions as  well as  municipal and                                                               
state officials,  sought to  address high  recidivism rates.   He                                                               
discussed the  formation and growth  of local  grassroots reentry                                                               
coalitions  across  the  state,   including  the  Juneau  Reentry                                                               
Coalition.   He said  a statewide  Recidivism Reduction  Plan was                                                               
developed in 2015.   He remarked that AMHT  helped fund positions                                                               
for  four reentry  coalitions  across the  state  in fiscal  year                                                               
2016.   He  said  additional reentry  coalitions  formed in  2017                                                               
around  the same  time that  DOC,  the Department  of Health  and                                                               
Social  Services  (DHSS),  and  AMHT  partnered  to  implement  a                                                               
structured release process for releasees.                                                                                       
MR.  WILLIAMS  addressed slide  7,  titled  "Roles of  a  Reentry                                                               
Coalition."    He  summarized  the four  major  objectives  of  a                                                               
reentry  coalition: to  educate the  community about  recidivism,                                                               
the  criminal  justice system,  and  reentry;  to identify  local                                                               
challenges facing  reentrants such as housing  and employment; to                                                               
identify  and rectify  local  gaps in  reentry  services; and  to                                                               
serve as a local  point of contact for DOC and  its partners.  He                                                               
characterized   the    various   coalitions   as    diverse   and                                                               
representative of  their respective  communities.  He  noted that                                                               
the  coalitions are  comprised of  DOC officials,  HSS officials,                                                               
private citizens, local businesses, and reentrants themselves.                                                                  
MR. WILLIAMS  drew attention to  a diagram on slide  7, subtitled                                                               
 From  Incarceration  to Communities."    He  explained that  the                                                               
diagram  attempts to  illustrate  what it  takes to  successfully                                                               
reenter the community post-incarceration.   He walked through the                                                               
diagram  and listed  the various  people  who assist  reentrants,                                                               
including  probation officers  and case  managers.   He explained                                                               
that  reentrants  require a  variety  of  things to  successfully                                                               
reenter the  community, including transportation, safe  and sober                                                               
housing, vocational training, and access to healthcare.                                                                         
2:17:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.   WILLIAMS  addressed   slide   8,   titled  "Local   Reentry                                                               
Coalitions."  He explained that  AMHT funds coalition coordinator                                                               
positions  in Juneau,  Anchorage, Fairbanks,  and the  Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna  Valley.    He  said   DHSS  funds  coalitions  in  Nome,                                                               
Dillingham, Kenai, and Ketchikan.                                                                                               
MR. WILLIAMS addressed  slides 9 through 11,  titled "Division of                                                               
Behavioral Health &  Community Reentry Supports."   He said there                                                               
are  three operational  focuses funded  by DHSS:  direct service,                                                               
prevention  and early  intervention, and  program Infrastructure.                                                               
He  said  examples  of  "direct  service"  include  reentry  case                                                               
management,  reentry  centers,  healthcare  access,  and  housing                                                               
vouchers.   He  explained that  DHSS funding  under the  category                                                               
"prevention and  early intervention" helps  grassroots coalitions                                                               
in rural communities.  He  said "program infrastructure" includes                                                               
the facilitation  of data sharing  between DHSS and DOC,  as well                                                               
as data collection  and monitoring.  He described  how data helps                                                               
grow and improve  reentry services.  He noted  that case managers                                                               
currently  funded by  DHSS are  located in  Anchorage, Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna, Fairbanks, and  Juneau, and that their  caseloads are 40                                                               
persons each.  He said each  caseload is small because the target                                                               
population overseen by the case managers is composed of higher-                                                                 
risk  reentrants.   He mentioned  that  an overwhelming  caseload                                                               
would not generate  positive results.  He  discussed DHSS efforts                                                               
to  facilitate data  sharing  between  different departments  and                                                               
other entities that  have contact with reentrants.   He explained                                                               
that DHSS wants  to make information available  to reentrants and                                                               
those  groups that  support  them.   He added  that  DHSS has  an                                                               
independent evaluation in place to  track the outcomes of reentry                                                               
case managers.                                                                                                                  
2:23:52 PM                                                                                                                    
DON  HABEGER,  Community  Coordinator, Juneau  Reentry  Coalition                                                               
(JREC), said his role during  this presentation is to discuss the                                                               
local reentry coalitions and how  they operate.  He remarked that                                                               
coalitions are unique to their  localities but are all working on                                                               
the same issue across the state.                                                                                                
MR.   HABEGER  addressed   slide  12,   titled  "Juneau   Reentry                                                               
Coalition."   He said the mission  of JREC is to  "promote public                                                               
safety by  identifying and implementing strategies  that increase                                                               
a former  prisoner's well-being within the  community and reduces                                                               
the likelihood  of their return to  prison through recidivating."                                                               
He  noted  that  an  average  of  502  individuals  are  released                                                               
annually in the  Juneau community.  He compared  that to Juneau's                                                               
314 high  school graduates in  2017.  He characterized  a reentry                                                               
coalition   as   the   interface  between   the   community   and                                                               
institutions.    He relayed  the  topics  discussed at  a  recent                                                               
meeting at  Lemon Creek  Correctional Center.   He  described the                                                               
assistance provided  by JREC in  transporting an  individual from                                                               
Juneau  to the  individual's  home community  in  Ketchikan.   He                                                               
listed the  various community stakeholders  that are part  of the                                                               
coalition and that  work toward a safer community.   He discussed                                                               
how the  Subway restaurant  in Juneau has  donated meal  cards to                                                               
the  local  field probation  office  for  use as  incentives  for                                                               
supervised reentrants.                                                                                                          
2:28:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN asked how many  of the 502 average annual reentrants                                                               
JREC is able to assist.                                                                                                         
MR. HABEGER  explained that  releasees who  are determined  to be                                                               
medium-  or high-risk  are eligible  for  JREC's case  management                                                               
program.  He  said approximately 160 annual  reentrants meet that                                                               
criteria.  He explained that JREC  has one case manager funded by                                                               
DHSS who is able to serve only 40 of those individuals.                                                                         
2:29:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HABEGER  addressed slide  13,  also  titled "Juneau  Reentry                                                               
Coalition."    He  said  JREC's focus  is  on  behavioral  health                                                               
treatment,  reentry housing,  and  peer support.    He noted  the                                                               
importance  of  helping  reentrants   access  mental  health  and                                                               
substance  abuse   services.     He  called  reentry   housing  a                                                               
significant issue for the Juneau  community.  He mentioned JREC's                                                               
partnerships  with the  halfway house  Gastineau Human  Services,                                                               
the women's facility Haven House  Juneau, and the Central Council                                                               
of the Tlingit and Haida  Indian Tribes of Alaska, which operates                                                               
its own reentry  transitional housing program for men.   He spoke                                                               
to the  help provided  to recent  releasees from  individuals who                                                               
have successfully reentered the community via peer support.                                                                     
2:31:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL spoke to issues  that places like Haven House                                                               
have  with receiving  SOA money,  noting that  organizations like                                                               
that must rely on donations.   He asked if more group homes would                                                               
be  available  to  people  for   reentry  purposes  if  different                                                               
facilities were able to be funded by SOA dollars.                                                                               
MR. HABEGER  said the  Tlingit &  Haida program  was not  able to                                                               
complete an agreement  with SOA, so JREC recently  wrote a letter                                                               
of support in pursuit of federal funding.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked to what  degree a criminal  record can                                                               
impede reentrants from obtaining housing.                                                                                       
MR.  HABEGER answered  that it  is a  significant challenge.   He                                                               
noted  that  sex  offenders  are  ineligible  to  participate  in                                                               
programs through  the Alaska Housing Finance  Corporation (AHFC).                                                               
He  said  JREC  is  trying  to find  a  system  to  address  that                                                               
situation.     He   added  that   individuals  incarcerated   for                                                               
manufacturing drugs  are another  group of  people who  are often                                                               
prohibited  from accessing  programs that  use state  and federal                                                               
housing  dollars.     This,  he   explained,  results   in  their                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  expressed frustration  that someone  who has                                                               
served his/her  time in  jail and has  entered a  reentry program                                                               
can be denied housing.  He  noted that those individuals are also                                                               
unlikely to  find employment, which  further contributes  to them                                                               
becoming "a  liability to  the state and  a public  safety risk."                                                               
He called that "short-sighted."   He asked how organizations like                                                               
JREC can alleviate that.                                                                                                        
MR. HABEGER noted  that federal rules regarding  money for states                                                               
are  partly responsible  for this  scenario.   He expressed  that                                                               
there is currently  not enough interest on the  national level to                                                               
effect change.                                                                                                                  
2:36:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  if   there  are  state   laws  or                                                               
regulations that prohibit the use  of money for housing for those                                                               
released after committing drug crimes.                                                                                          
MR.  HABEGER said  it  is his  understanding  that United  States                                                               
Department  of  Housing  and   Urban  Development  (HUD)  dollars                                                               
received by SOA  are what drives that particular issue.   He said                                                               
those federal  monies have  strings attached  and SOA  must honor                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  whether  there  is   any  way  to                                                               
 segregate  the  money"  so  that SOA  can  address  the  problem                                                               
without using federal dollars.                                                                                                  
MR. HABEGER said he does not have an answer to that question.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  remarked that there  seems to be a  lot of                                                               
people  in Juneau  who  live in  doorways.   She  asked if  those                                                               
people are eligible for reentry services.                                                                                       
MR. HABEGER said it is important  to keep in mind that reentry is                                                               
a  voluntary  program, so  a  person  released from  Lemon  Creek                                                               
Correctional Center  is not required  to access the service.   He                                                               
said if an individual chooses to  return to the local shelter and                                                               
live "a  more-homeless lifestyle," he/she is  free to do so.   He                                                               
stated that there is not much JREC can do about that.                                                                           
2:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  GOODE,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Corrections,                                                               
addressed Representative LeDoux's  question about segregating the                                                               
money and said  she would find out the answer  and report back to                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
2:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  HABEGER  addressed slide  14,  also  titled "Juneau  Reentry                                                               
Coalition."  He  said JREC is a community group  and not formally                                                               
a  nonprofit  organization,  and  that it  invites  any  and  all                                                               
community  members to  be  part of  the group.    He said  JREC's                                                               
governance team  is led by  a co-chair  from the community  and a                                                               
co-chair from a DOC institution.   He added that JREC   15-member                                                               
steering team  consists of representatives with  various areas of                                                               
expertise.    He  said  JREC   work  is  sometimes  done  through                                                               
workgroups.  He noted that he is JREC's one paid staff member.                                                                  
MR.  HABEGER  addressed slide  15,  also  titled "Juneau  Reentry                                                               
Coalition."   He  said JREC's  program  is voluntary  and can  be                                                               
accessed through  a reentrant's probation officer.   He described                                                               
the process  through which one may  sign up for the  program.  He                                                               
detailed the work of a case  manager to develop a written reentry                                                               
plan to help guide the  reentrant toward success six months after                                                               
release.   He said that,  in the  time since its  case management                                                               
inception, JREC  has had  63 individuals  that have  entered into                                                               
its program.   He  said 16 of  those individuals  have graduated.                                                               
He referenced a statistic on the  slide    11 Noncompliant    and                                                               
said it  refers to those who  "did not make it"  because they got                                                               
in  trouble for  some  reason.   He  noted  that 11  noncompliant                                                               
individuals out of 63 total individuals is 17 percent.                                                                          
2:43:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if she  has it correct that,  out of                                                               
63 individuals referred to JREC, only 17 "made it out."                                                                         
MR.  HABEGER said  that is  incorrect.   He explained  a list  of                                                               
statistics  on  slide  15.    He  said,  out  of  63  individuals                                                               
referred, 15 graduated with 100  percent completion, 20 opted out                                                               
before  completion, 11  were noncompliant,  and 17  are currently                                                               
enrolled  are  just starting  the  process.   He  mentioned  that                                                               
anyone released from Lemon Creek  Correctional Center in the past                                                               
six months can seek help and join the program.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked,  of  the 63  individuals, how  many                                                               
have been successful.  She said  she realizes JREC is not dealing                                                               
with an easy population.                                                                                                        
MR.  HABEGER said  that the  numbers he  presented span  from May                                                               
2017  through  February  2019.    He  said  15  individuals  have                                                               
successfully completed program  and 20 have opted out.   Of those                                                               
that opted out, he said, JREC is  not aware that any of them have                                                               
recidivated.     He  said  JREC   believes  35   individuals  are                                                               
successful to the current date.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked for verification  that none of the 15                                                               
graduates have recidivated.                                                                                                     
MR. HABEGER said that, to  JREC's knowledge, the 15 graduates and                                                               
20 opt-outs have not recidivated.                                                                                               
2:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN asked if JREC has a 40-case limit for its caseload.                                                                
MR.  HABEGER   answered  that  JREC's  reentry   case  management                                                               
capacity  is 40  at any  single  time, and  that the  limit is  a                                                               
stipulation  of  an agreement  with  the  Division of  Behavioral                                                               
Health (DBH).                                                                                                                   
2:48:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHLEEN  MCLAUGHLIN, Director,  Partners  Reentry Center  (PRC),                                                               
addressed slide 16,  titled "Partners Reentry Center."   She also                                                               
referenced a  document [included in the  committee packet] titled                                                               
"Partners Reentry  Center (PRC)  Statistics."   She said  PRC was                                                               
established  in Anchorage  about five  years ago  and, with  over                                                               
7,000 reentrants served in that  time, has learned how to deliver                                                               
timely reentry  services.   She said timely  services are  key in                                                               
reentry programs.    If we don't touch  somebody immediately upon                                                               
release,"  she   explained,  "[and]  they  are   [released]  into                                                               
homeless, we have already lost them.                                                                                            
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN stated  that PRC  houses people  immediately upon                                                               
release  regardless of  charges.   She  said PRC  is a  voluntary                                                               
program  and  the understanding  is  that  the staff  works  with                                                               
reentrants,  not for  them.   She remarked  that PRC  attempts to                                                               
help  reentrants  get  back  to  being  healthy  members  of  the                                                               
community.   She  said PRC  was established  in August  2013 with                                                               
some legislative funding.  She  noted that PRC has blended funds,                                                               
including a contract with DHSS for  $800,000 "for a wide range of                                                               
reentry   services"  such   as  case   management,  bus   passes,                                                               
supportive services,  and housing.   She  said PRC  also receives                                                               
Special  Needs Housing  (SNHG)  and  Homeless Assistance  Program                                                               
(HAP) funds from  AHFC that it uses "to blend"  for housing.  She                                                               
explained this  means PRC is  not limited  in whom it  can house.                                                               
She mentioned "the head in the  bed rule," which she explained is                                                               
an  agreement  that PRC  will  pay  the  first  30-60 days  of  a                                                               
reentrant's housing as long as he/she works with PRC.                                                                           
2:51:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked how  PRC has managed  to find  a way                                                               
around the  issues brought  up earlier  by Mr.  Habeger regarding                                                               
JREC's inability to house certain reentrants.                                                                                   
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  said the SNHG and  HAP funds received by  PRC are                                                               
"to the  program, not the  person."  She explained,  for example,                                                               
that  if PRC  is  attempting to  house a  sex  offender who  must                                                               
remain in  Anchorage due to  sex offender treatment, PRC  is able                                                               
to  use transitional  funding through  HAP, SNHG,  or a  contract                                                               
through a  specific housing  provider.  She  noted that  PRC pays                                                               
housing providers  directly so  the funds do  not go  through the                                                               
individual  to  be   housed.    She  stated   that,  since  PRC's                                                               
inception, it has housed over  3,700 people and never once denied                                                               
a reentrant a bed.  She said PRC  has 400 beds available to it in                                                               
Anchorage  through   16  housing   providers  plus   127  private                                                               
landlords.  She  described the system of  accountability to which                                                               
it  holds  reentrants, in  particular  those  who are  housed  by                                                               
private landlords.   She said  the private landlords are  able to                                                               
call  PRC  if  issues  arise   with  a  housed  reentrant.    She                                                               
referenced a  figure on the  statistics document that  showed PRC                                                               
funded housing  for 155 reentrants  during the month  of February                                                               
2:53:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  her  to clarify  how  she avoids  the                                                               
problem  regarding  restrictions  on   spending  state  funds  to                                                               
service certain individuals.                                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  said the  contract  PRC  has  with DBH  and  the                                                               
funding it  receives from  AHFC are focused  on the  program, not                                                               
the individuals.                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN  clarified that  HUD  funds  assist individuals  to                                                               
apply for  housing so  that the individual  is the  entity paying                                                               
rent, and  that these  funds come  with restrictions,  whereas in                                                               
PRC's case the rent-paying entity is the program itself.                                                                        
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said  that is correct.  She said  AHFC has tenant-                                                               
based rental  assistance (TBRA)  vouchers which  are specifically                                                               
for an  individual and are  thus restricted, so sex  offenders on                                                               
the  lifetime registry  and convicted  drug manufacturers  cannot                                                               
use them.                                                                                                                       
2:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SHAW   asked   whether    PRC   is   under   the                                                               
administration of DOC or if it is a nonprofit organization.                                                                     
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  answered  that  PRC  is  a  501(c)(3)  nonprofit                                                               
organization under Partners for Progress.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE SHAW  said that  could explain why  it is  able to                                                               
move funds easier.                                                                                                              
2:55:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN  asked on behalf  of Representative LeDoux  why JREC                                                               
cannot do the same thing as PRC.                                                                                                
MR.  HABEGER noted  that JREC  is also  "nonprofit" and  said its                                                               
current model is to continue  working with its existing nonprofit                                                               
partners and  to accomplish  certain housing  projects.   He said                                                               
JREC looks  to move in  that direction  but is challenged  by the                                                               
fact  that it  has  not  yet "caught  up  with  the community  of                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  said  Partners  for Progress  is  also  a                                                               
nonprofit  organization.   She asked  what is  keeping JREC  from                                                               
accomplishing what PRC is accomplishing.                                                                                        
MR. HABEGER clarified that JREC  is a community coalition and not                                                               
officially a nonprofit organization.   He said JREC's model is to                                                               
rely on and work with  Juneau's existing nonprofit organizations.                                                               
He  said JREC  has  not "taken  that step   to  form a  501(c)(3)                                                               
2:57:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said PRC is a  walk-in center.  She explained that                                                               
PRC sees  people "in real-time"  and does not have  waitlists, so                                                               
an  individual who  enters the  center is  served the  day he/she                                                               
arrives.   She  noted  that PRC  is unique  in  how its  service-                                                               
delivery  model  involves  bringing  providers  into  the  center                                                               
rather  than sending  individuals out  to wherever  the providers                                                               
are located.   For example, she said,  various organizations come                                                               
to  PRC every  Monday through  Friday to  deliver services.   She                                                               
explained  this  means  people   who  have  been  displaced  into                                                               
Anchorage do not  have to travel around town  to receive services                                                               
and treatment.   She  emphasized that this  is a  unique delivery                                                               
model not  used nationally  and that it  is being  considered for                                                               
replication.   She said  PRC is community-based  and thus  has no                                                               
authority  over the  people it  serves.   She said  PRC sees  the                                                               
people  it serves  as community  members.   She noted,  "When you                                                               
don't   have  authority   over  someone,   you  can   treat  them                                                               
differently."  She said community-based  reentry services are key                                                               
to PRC's success.                                                                                                               
2:59:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked if PRC  is located "right across from                                                               
the jail                                                                                                                        
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  said PRC  is located across  the street  from the                                                               
fire station on Barrow Street in  Anchorage.  She said the center                                                               
is  eight blocks  from  the  jail.   She  noted  the location  is                                                               
strategic  because  it  is within  walking  distance  of  various                                                               
services necessary  for those individuals who  are being released                                                               
into homelessness.                                                                                                              
3:00:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  addressed slide  17,  which  featured a  cartoon                                                               
illustration.   She mentioned a  study that showed  that formerly                                                               
incarcerated individuals  are almost 10  times more likely  to be                                                               
homeless  than  the general  public.    She  said that  when  PRC                                                               
addresses  reentry  and recidivism,  it  is  also addressing  the                                                               
homeless population.                                                                                                            
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN   addressed  slide   18,  titled  "3   Phases  of                                                               
Community-Based  Reentry."     She  said  PRC's   programming  is                                                               
tailored to  address the specific  needs of each reentrant.   She                                                               
said  the  programming  consists   of  three  phases:  stabilize,                                                               
incentivize,  and  restore.    She spoke  to  the  importance  of                                                               
stabilizing  a reentrant  with mental  health services,  housing,                                                               
and/or addiction  treatment.  She said  PRC's first 7 to  10 days                                                               
with  an  individual  are  focused  on  providing  stability  and                                                               
shelter.   She explained  that the  "incentivize" phase  is about                                                               
giving  people  purpose  and keeping  them  busy,  which  reduces                                                               
interest  in  criminal behavior.    She  addressed the  "restore"                                                               
phase by noting  that 38 percent of the people  served by PRC are                                                               
Alaska Native,  almost all of  whom do  not live in  Anchorage by                                                               
choice, but  rather because they  are required to  participate in                                                               
treatment  that is  only offered  in select  parts of  the state.                                                               
She  said  those individuals  need  to  go  home,  so PRC  has  a                                                               
restorative justice model for when  treatment has been completed.                                                               
She described how  an individual who wishes to  return to his/her                                                               
village must have a restorative plan,  a safety net, and must ask                                                               
permission  to return  from  elders  or those  in  charge of  the                                                               
village.   She discussed a  commitment she  made to DOC  that the                                                               
people she  returns to villages  would not reviolate.   She noted                                                               
that PRC  has sent 22 people  back to their home  communities and                                                               
none have recidivated.                                                                                                          
3:03:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked  if  she has  seen  any  graduates                                                               
return to the program.                                                                                                          
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  said "absolutely."   She noted that PRC  has done                                                               
an internal  audit to  determine its  recidivism rate,  which she                                                               
will  share later.    She said  there are  some  people who  have                                                               
entered the program  several times.  She noted that  PRC does not                                                               
give monied  services to  people who feel  they are  entitled and                                                               
will not house  people who have already  disrespected its housing                                                               
within  the  past  six  months.    She  emphasized  that  PRC  is                                                               
voluntary for both the reentrant and for those employed at PRC.                                                                 
3:04:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  addressed  slide 19,  titled  "Partners  Reentry                                                               
Center."  She  detailed the different types  of services provided                                                               
by  PRC  broken  down  into   three  categories:  housing,  self-                                                               
sufficiency,  and behavioral  modification  & community  support.                                                               
She  described  the  accommodations  PRC will  make  to  help  an                                                               
individual  get housing  to provide  a  sustainable path  forward                                                               
toward him/her becoming a functioning member of the community.                                                                  
MS. MCLAUGHLIN addressed slide 20,  also titled "Partners Reentry                                                               
Center."   She said PRC  serves up to  1,500 to 1,800  people per                                                               
year.  She said PRC surveyed  300 individuals with high [Level of                                                               
Supervision/Service Inventory Revised] LSIR scores.                                                                             
3:06:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CLAMAN  asked  her  to  verify that  LSIR  is  "the  risk-                                                               
assessment index for release from jail."                                                                                        
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said  that is correct.  She  explained that anyone                                                               
with  an  LSIR  score  over  28 has  the  highest  likelihood  of                                                               
recidivating and committing new crimes.                                                                                         
CHAIR CLAMAN  noted that  the committee  discussed the  LSIR form                                                               
with DOC during a previous meeting.                                                                                             
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said 65 percent  of people who entered the program                                                               
were  signed up  for Medicaid  and/or the  Supplemental Nutrition                                                               
Assistance Program (SNAP) within the  first week of release.  She                                                               
said  31   percent  were  referred   to  and/or   utilized  PRC's                                                               
treatment-providing partners.   She said  61 percent  gained full                                                               
time  employment.   She mentioned  that PRC  spent an  average of                                                               
about $600  per participant on  housing costs during  fiscal year                                                               
2018.   She  added that  PRC does  not pay  for housing  when the                                                               
participant  is  able to  pay  his/her  own  way.   She  posed  a                                                               
question: "Do  we make  a difference."   She  said the  answer is                                                               
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  addressed slide  21, which  featured a  bar graph                                                               
measuring recidivism resulting in  a re-arrest and re-conviction.                                                               
She  said  PRC's recidivism  rate  is  27  percent against  a  48                                                               
percent recidivism  rate for a  control group of  individuals who                                                               
elected not  to participate in  PRC programming.  She  noted that                                                               
this  is  a small  sampling,  but  PRC would  provide  additional                                                               
details should the committee want to see them.                                                                                  
3:08:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked about PRC's success rate.                                                                           
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN said  PRC has  a  27 percent  recidivism rate  of                                                               
people who were  "meaningfully" in its program, so  73 percent of                                                               
people did not recidivate.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked for verification that  the people in                                                               
the program are those with the highest risk of recidivating.                                                                    
MS. MCLAUGHLIN answered "yes."   She said people with support and                                                               
safety nets  do not  need to come  to PRC.   She stated  that the                                                               
center is for  those being released into homelessness.   She said                                                               
100 percent of  PRC's population "are those that  are the highest                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  remarked that  it sounds  like PRC  has "a                                                               
pretty good track record.                                                                                                       
3:09:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  referenced the statistic that  65 percent of                                                               
participants  signed up  for  Medicaid  or SNAP.    He asked  for                                                               
confirmation that this is "a  [recently] available function."  He                                                               
said  it is  his  understanding  that recently-released  convicts                                                               
could not obtain SNAP.                                                                                                          
MS. MCLAUGHLIN  said that is  correct.  She explained  that, when                                                               
Medicaid was expanded, PRC was able  to bring in partners to sign                                                               
up participants  for Medicaid  and food stamps.   She  said those                                                               
who  are  still incarcerated  can  sign  up  for Medicaid  "in  a                                                               
halfway house setting."  She  said an individual cannot apply for                                                               
food stamps until release.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  if this  was the  result of  a recent                                                               
changed.  He asked  if it had anything to do  with Senate Bill 91                                                               
[passed during the Twenty-Ninth Alaska State Legislature].                                                                      
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said the availability  of SNAP and Medicaid is due                                                               
to  Medicaid expansion,  which is  entirely separate  from Senate                                                               
Bill 91.                                                                                                                        
3:10:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  commended  Ms.  McLaughlin  and  PRC.    He                                                               
recognized PRC's  achievement in reducing recidivism  among high-                                                               
risk reentrants.   He  characterized PRC's  efforts as  "the hard                                                               
work  of  redeeming peoples'  lives."    She said  those  efforts                                                               
protect  the  whole of  society.    He  commented that  the  data                                                               
presented is "remarkable."                                                                                                      
MS.  MCLAUGHLIN  noted  that,  with  respect  to  the  recidivism                                                               
statistics, PRC only  looks at rearrests and  reconvictions.  She                                                               
stated that PRC sees promising results.                                                                                         
3:11:58 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  acknowledged that the 27  percent recidivism                                                               
rate  relates  to   new  crimes  as  opposed   to  violations  of                                                               
conditions or probation/parole.   He asked whether Ms. McLaughlin                                                               
feels that some probation/parole  restrictions are burdensome and                                                               
at times set  people up to fail.  He  asked if those restrictions                                                               
should be reformed.                                                                                                             
MS. MCLAUGHLIN said  that is a good question.   She remarked that                                                               
DOC has been willing to work  with PRC with regard to individuals                                                               
who are  "holding themselves accountable."   She said  that, when                                                               
that is  the case, probation officers  should not be so  quick to                                                               
reincarcerate in response to a  mistake.  She remarked that there                                                               
has been a shift in probation  officer culture over the past five                                                               
years, and that the shift is for the better.                                                                                    
3:13:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WILLIAMS  said  the committee's  discussion  of  reentry  is                                                               
valuable  and  remarked that  it  illustrates  the complexity  of                                                               
supporting and  guiding people  so that  they do  not recidivate.                                                               
He summarized  the topics  discussed and noted  that all  of them                                                               
are  important for  a reentrant  to be  successful.   He remarked                                                               
that  increased  public  safety and  decreased  recidivism  rates                                                               
depend on all those elements working well together.                                                                             
MR. WILLIAMS returned  to slide 7 and reemphasized  that the role                                                               
of  a coalition  is  not  to provide  services,  but to  identify                                                               
barriers and advocate for change.   She said "the case management                                                               
piece"  operates  in  collaboration  with  the  coalition,  which                                                               
identifies what  services are available and  assists in accessing                                                               
3:16:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES asked, "Has  the Alaska Mental Health Trust                                                               
Fund  turned a  corner and  realized what  their true  mission is                                                               
other than a real estate holding company                                                                                        
MR.  WILLIAMS  stated that  AMHT  has  always  had a  mission  of                                                               
looking  out for  its  beneficiaries.   He  said  that has  never                                                               
3:17:43 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:18 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Reentry Presentation to House Judiciary Committee 4.3.19.pdf HJUD 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
Partners Reentry Center Statistics February 2019 4.3.19.pdf HJUD 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
DOC Second Chance Grant Information 4.3.19.pdf HJUD 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM