Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

02/27/2020 03:00 PM House STATE AFFAIRS

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03:03:17 PM Start
03:03:54 PM HB148
03:11:12 PM Presentation: Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry
05:03:39 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved HB 148 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Presentation: Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       February 27, 2020                                                                                        
                           3:03 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Zack Fields, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Co-Chair                                                                                
Representative Grier Hopkins                                                                                                    
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Laddie Shaw                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 148                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to solemnization of marriage."                                                                                 
     - MOVED HB 148 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
PRESENTATION:  ALASKA REHABILITATION & REENTRY                                                                                  
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 148                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MARRIAGE WITNESSES                                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
04/29/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/29/19       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/20/20       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/20/20       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/20/20       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/27/20       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
RON WILSON, Chair                                                                                                               
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni (ATCA)                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation of "Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry."                                                                              
THOMAS ROEHL, Board Member and Activities Director                                                                              
Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni (ATCA)                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Provided   information   during   the                                                             
presentation of "Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry."                                                                              
LAURA BROOKS, Health Care Administrator                                                                                         
Division of Health and Rehabilitation                                                                                           
Department of Corrections (DOC)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Presented  "Alaska   Rehabilitation  and                                                             
Reentry  A  Report  to  the   Legislature"  with  the  use  of  a                                                               
PowerPoint  presentation  during   the  presentation  of  "Alaska                                                               
Rehabilitation & Reentry."                                                                                                      
JENNIFER WINKELMAN, Acting Deputy Commissioner                                                                                  
Department of Corrections (DOC)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions during  the presentation                                                             
of "Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry."                                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:03:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZACH FIELDS  called the  House  State Affairs  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:03 p.m.   Representatives Vance,                                                               
Thompson, Fields, and Kreiss-Tomkins were  present at the call to                                                               
order.  Representatives Hopkins and  Story arrived as the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                   HB 148-MARRIAGE WITNESSES                                                                                
3:03:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 148,  "An  Act relating  to solemnization  of                                                               
3:04:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS moved  to report HB 148  out of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE objected.   She  acknowledged the  value of                                                               
the  proposed  legislation  for  the  marriage  industry  serving                                                               
people coming  to Alaska; however,  she stated that she  does not                                                               
support easing  the two-witness  requirement under  HB 148.   She                                                               
expressed  her hope  that the  license application  could be  re-                                                               
worked to  make the process  clearer for applicants,  which would                                                               
be another way of helping the industry.                                                                                         
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Thompson, Hopkins,                                                               
Story,  Fields, and  Kreiss-Tomkins  voted in  favor  of HB  148.                                                               
Representative Vance  voted against  it.   Therefore, HB  148 was                                                               
reported from  the House  State Affairs  Standing Committee  by a                                                               
vote of 5-1.                                                                                                                    
3:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:08 p.m. to 3:11 p.m.                                                                       
^PRESENTATION:  Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry                                                                                 
         PRESENTATION:  Alaska Rehabilitation & Reentry                                                                     
3:11:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FIELDS announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be a  continuation of the presentation  on "Alaska Rehabilitation                                                               
& Reentry" began during the  2/13/20 House State Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee meeting.                                                                                                              
3:11:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RON WILSON,  Chair, Board of Directors,  Alaska Therapeutic Court                                                               
Alumni (ATCA), relayed  that he is a 2010  graduate from Alaska's                                                               
therapeutic  court  system.   He  shared  that he  started  using                                                               
alcohol at  the age of 15,  grew up in a  traditional family, and                                                               
was the  only one  in his family  with addictions  or interaction                                                               
with  the judicial  system.   After  high  school graduation  his                                                               
engagement with alcohol  and drugs went from  recreational use to                                                               
addiction.   He had his  first driving under the  influence (DUI)                                                               
charge in 1996;  in 1999 he received his second  DUI; and in 2002                                                               
he received  a felony DUI.   The  felony sentence he  received in                                                               
2002  "changed   his  life   drastically."     Through  intensive                                                               
outpatient  treatment, he  learned  he had  been "medicating"  an                                                               
anxiety disorder.  In 2005, he  was charged with cocaine use; and                                                               
in 2008,  he was charged with  use of a controlled  substance and                                                               
faced a  six-year sentence.   At  the time,  he was  married with                                                               
four children.   He served  six months of inpatient  treatment at                                                               
Akeela,  Inc.  [a 501(c)(3)  mental health  and  substance  abuse                                                               
service provider], then  transferred to therapeutic court.   As a                                                               
non-violent offender,  he was able  to address his  treatment and                                                               
legal issues  while at home.   He returned to work  and completed                                                               
the 18-month therapeutic court program;  he learned how to manage                                                               
his anxiety disorder  and has been "clean" for ten  years.  He is                                                               
a  homeowner, a  business owner,  and works  as a  member of  the                                                               
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (EBEW).                                                                         
MR.  WILSON  pointed  out  that   there  are  limited  slots  for                                                               
therapeutic court  participants -  60 in  Anchorage, and  less in                                                               
Palmer, Kenai, Fairbanks, and Juneau.   He maintained that due to                                                               
the necessity for  offenders to have access to  the services that                                                               
will change  their lives,  it is imperative  that the  state find                                                               
ways to fund reentry programs,  organizations, and resources that                                                               
will provide those  services.  He emphasized that  there are many                                                               
offenders seeking that help, and  many would be very successfully                                                               
rehabilitated.   He stated, "Drugs  and alcohol take  good people                                                               
to bad places."                                                                                                                 
3:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS, after  acknowledging  that  money is  a                                                               
major  variable,  asked  whether  there  are  other  actions  the                                                               
legislature could  take - beyond  money - to further  empower the                                                               
therapeutic court system or have it serve more participants.                                                                    
MR.  WILSON replied  that expansion  of  program and  wrap-around                                                               
services would  be helpful.   He mentioned that many  people with                                                               
addiction  have lost  the ability  to  have sustainable  housing.                                                               
With  housing, they  can  begin to  address  their substance  and                                                               
alcohol issues.   He maintained  that the  peer-to-peer component                                                               
is  important;  the ATCA  has  developed  rapport, alliance,  and                                                               
networking  with   reentry  programs   to  assist   offenders  in                                                               
navigating the recovery process.                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked Mr.  Wilson for  his understanding                                                               
of  the  demand  for  slots   relative  to  availability  in  the                                                               
therapeutic court system.                                                                                                       
MR. WILSON  answered that there  is a large demand  for treatment                                                               
slots, and many offenders are being  turned away.  He stated that                                                               
he  did  not  know  the  numbers,  but  he  does  know  that  the                                                               
therapeutic  courts operate  at about  one-sixth of  the cost  of                                                               
incarceration.   There  is a  beneficial  financial component  to                                                               
using that type  of alternate justice as  opposed to conventional                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked about the composition  of the board                                                               
that Mr. Wilson serves on.                                                                                                      
MR. WILSON responded that the  board is exclusively for graduates                                                               
of the program.  The alumni group  was started in 2006 and is the                                                               
longest  running such  alumni group  in the  country.   It offers                                                               
peer support for offenders who  have graduated from the stringent                                                               
structure of the therapeutic court and are on their own.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE   HOPKINS  asked   whether  the   board  has   any                                                               
responsibilities for implementing the therapeutic court program.                                                                
MR. WILSON  replied that  the alumni group  has rapport  with the                                                               
court's  treatment  team; and  as  the  chair  of the  board  and                                                               
program   coordinator,  he   meets   with  program   coordinators                                                               
statewide.    [Members  of  the  group]  work  with  the  current                                                               
participants of the court on  issues; they participate in process                                                               
groups that participants  are required to attend;  and they share                                                               
with  participants the  challenges  and successes  that they,  as                                                               
former   therapeutic  court   participants,   experienced.     He                                                               
confirmed  for Representative  Hopkins that  the volunteer  board                                                               
provides support  to graduates by connecting  them with services,                                                               
housing,  employment,  and  whatever  is needed  to  promote  the                                                               
success of the program.                                                                                                         
3:21:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked about  any support that  Mr. Wilson's                                                               
family received or is receiving through ATCA.                                                                                   
MR. WILSON responded that a  monthly game night has recently been                                                               
implemented.   It is a sober  activity provided by the  alumni to                                                               
current participants  and their families, friends,  and children;                                                               
about 50-70 people  attend these functions.  He added  that it is                                                               
a  chance for  children to  see their  parents doing  a different                                                               
type of activity than what they may have witnessed previously.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked whether  there were other supports for                                                               
the family during  the time a participant was  in the therapeutic                                                               
court program.                                                                                                                  
MR.  WILSON  replied  that outpatient  treatment  offered  family                                                               
counseling.    He  mentioned that  family  members  attended  and                                                               
participated in court proceedings.   He added that summer picnics                                                               
and holiday parties with families were a big component.                                                                         
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked whether Mr. Wilson  is required to                                                               
have  SR-22 car  insurance  -  a high  risk  vehicle insurance  -                                                               
because of his DUIs in the '90s.                                                                                                
MR. WILSON  answered, "I did back  then."  He explained  that his                                                               
felony DUI  was in 2002;  the SR-22 was a  five-year requirement;                                                               
and he  is past that requirement.   He further explained  that at                                                               
that  time,  a 5-year  revocation  was  imposed;  today it  is  a                                                               
lifetime  revocation with  the possibility  of a  limited license                                                               
after ten years.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked for the monthly cost of the SR-22.                                                                
MR. WILSON answered that it was  $100 per month for him, totaling                                                               
$6,000 for five years.                                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked how the extra cost affected him.                                                                  
MR. WILSON  replied that it was  a financial hardship to  him and                                                               
his family; he also was charged a $10,000 fine.                                                                                 
3:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  asked  whether Mr.  Wilson's  family  ever                                                               
mentioned the need for family  supports, and whether the board is                                                               
exploring other avenues besides the game night.                                                                                 
MR. WILSON answered  yes.  He said that there  have been requests                                                               
for  "significant others"  to participate  in the  weekly process                                                               
groups; however, the  dilemma is that the court team  is not able                                                               
to  vet all  of the  significant others  and there  is a  risk of                                                               
exposing the participant  to a harmful situation or  person.  The                                                               
ATCA is always  looking at adding groups, but  since the position                                                               
of facilitator is  voluntary, it is difficult to  find someone to                                                               
take the time.                                                                                                                  
3:27:34 PM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS  ROEHL,  Board  Member  and  Activities  Director,  Alaska                                                               
Therapeutic Court Alumni (ATCA),  stated that he organizes events                                                               
for families, including  game night, bowling, and disc  golf.  He                                                               
maintained  that   family  involvement  is  very   important  and                                                               
MR. ROEHL  relayed that  eight years  ago he  hurt his  back; his                                                               
insurance was  Medicaid; he was sent  to a pain clinic  and given                                                               
an [opioid]  pain medication -  Dilaudid; he needed  surgery, but                                                               
no  one was  willing to  perform surgery  on a  Medicaid patient.                                                               
After a year of using and  abusing his pain medication, a surgeon                                                               
was  identified who  would  do the  surgery.   He  said that  the                                                               
surgery fixed his back and he  was taken off pain medication, but                                                               
he was  addicted.  When  he returned  to his medical  provider to                                                               
have  his addiction  treated, he  was  given a  new medication  -                                                               
Suboxone.   But the Suboxone didn't  work, so he sold  it "on the                                                               
street" to be  able to afford a medication like  what he had been                                                               
taking,  which  turned  out  to  be  Roxicet  -  an  opioid  pain                                                               
medication he  could buy on the  street.  A friend  asked him why                                                               
he was paying  so much for Roxicet and introduced  him to heroin.                                                               
He said, "Once you find heroin,  there's almost no escaping."  He                                                               
went  on to  methamphetamine,  cocaine, and  crack  cocaine.   He                                                               
described  one of  his darkest  moments:   When the  firefighters                                                               
resuscitated him  using NARCAN,  he was angry  that his  life had                                                               
been saved.                                                                                                                     
3:30:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ROEHL  relayed that a couple  months later, he briefly  met a                                                               
man who  was a graduate of  Alaska's therapeutic court.   The man                                                               
explained that to get into  therapeutic court, a person must have                                                               
a drug-related  crime or  a DUI.   Mr. Roehl  said that  a couple                                                               
months later,  he went into  The Home  Depot store to  steal some                                                               
items to pay  for his addiction; he remembered  what the stranger                                                               
had told  him and  made up  his mind  to get  caught, so  that he                                                               
could  get into  a wellness  court.   He  made sure  that he  got                                                               
caught and that the law  enforcement officer recorded that he was                                                               
stealing to pay for his addiction.                                                                                              
MR. ROEHL  related that  four months  later, he  entered wellness                                                               
court.   In  the first  three months,  it paid  for and  arranged                                                               
housing.   The court has  a rigorous  schedule - two  classes per                                                               
day, five  Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or  Narcotics Anonymous (NA)                                                               
meetings per week,  and one or two alumni meetings  per week.  He                                                               
stated that  another component of  the success of  wellness court                                                               
is  a medication  called Vivitrol;  Vivitrol blocks  the [opioid]                                                               
receptors  in the  brain and  lasts 28  days.   He said  that his                                                               
first day  out of jail, he  met with his probation  officer (PO);                                                               
he asked  to be given Vivitrol  that day, which his  PO arranged;                                                               
he had no insurance, but the  first time sample was free; and the                                                               
moment he received the Vivitrol  injection, it erased all craving                                                               
for heroin.   He stayed on  Vivitrol for ten months,  paid for by                                                               
Medicaid.    He  said,  "I  owe pretty  much  everything  to  ...                                                               
therapeutic  court,  and  Vivitrol, and  the  whole  [therapeutic                                                               
court]  team,  and people  like  Ron,  who  was my  peer  support                                                               
through [ATC] Alumni Group."                                                                                                    
MR.  ROEHL  mentioned  two  close friends  whom  he  met  through                                                               
Alaska's therapeutic court.   He concluded by saying  that he has                                                               
seen Alaska's therapeutic court save many lives.                                                                                
3:36:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked whether  Mr. Roehl  could identify                                                               
ways -  beyond funding and creating  more slots in the  program -                                                               
that the legislature could help.                                                                                                
MR. ROEHL answered,  "That's pretty much it."  He  said that ATCA                                                               
partners  with Partners  for  Progress, a  reentry  program.   He                                                               
offered that  until there  are more slots  available, there  is a                                                               
need for  such programs; they  offer a  way for people  to become                                                               
aware of  therapeutic court.   He stated that not  everyone knows                                                               
about therapeutic court; he didn't know  about it; he had been in                                                               
and out  of jail  many times;  and he wished  he had  known about                                                               
therapeutic court the  first time he was  caught for shoplifting.                                                               
He expressed his  conviction that the first time  someone goes to                                                               
jail for  anything drug-related,  that person should  be assessed                                                               
automatically as  a candidate for  therapeutic court.   He stated                                                               
that  he wished  that  had happened  to him  five  years ago;  he                                                               
definitely would have been open to the possibility.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  for more  comment on  non-violent                                                               
offenders  entering the  criminal  justice system  and not  being                                                               
aware of therapeutic court.                                                                                                     
MR. ROEHL responded:                                                                                                            
     Pretty  much  the  only  way   you  hear  about  Alaska                                                                    
     Therapeutic  Court  - and  I  can  vouch for  this  100                                                                    
     percent -  sometimes in therapeutic court  they do give                                                                    
     you jail  sentences; that's usually a  last resort; and                                                                    
     it's usually 24  hours to 48 hours sentence.   And when                                                                    
     you're in there  for that 24 to 48  hours, you're going                                                                    
     to talk about  wellness court.  And  that's pretty much                                                                    
     the  way the  word  is  spread.   And  it's a  positive                                                                    
     experience usually because ...  you know you're getting                                                                    
     out.   ...  You  know it's  just a  moment  for you  to                                                                    
     reflect on what you did and  what you can do to correct                                                                    
     it.   You usually  have an  assignment while  you're in                                                                    
     there  to come  out with  something written  down about                                                                    
     why it won't happen again.                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS suggested  that because therapeutic court                                                               
[participants]  are   so  segregated  from   traditional  inmates                                                               
serving time  in correctional facilities,  it creates  a firewall                                                               
of  awareness.    Awareness  of  therapeutic  court  comes  about                                                               
through hearsay.                                                                                                                
MR. ROEHL  answered that he  didn't consider it  segregated; once                                                               
an  offender gets  a  "jailable"  sanction and  is  in for  24-48                                                               
hours,  he is  not  segregated  but is  just  in  with one  other                                                               
roommate.   The chances are very  high that the roommate  is also                                                               
in for a drug-related offense.                                                                                                  
3:39:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON asked  whether  some  offenders fail  in                                                               
therapeutic court.                                                                                                              
MR. ROEHL  replied, "Absolutely, yes."   He said that  he doesn't                                                               
know the percentages but offered  that "some people are ready for                                                               
it and some people aren't."   He maintained that the ones who are                                                               
ready for it "make  it very well."  He added  that there are many                                                               
success stories.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  about  the  qualities   of  the                                                               
offenders  who are  ready for  therapeutic court  - if  there are                                                               
common denominators among them.                                                                                                 
MR. ROEHL  said no.  He  stated that addiction is  ravaging every                                                               
walk of life no matter the economic status of a person.                                                                         
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  clarified that  he was not  asking about                                                               
the characteristics of those who  get addicted, but the qualities                                                               
of those  offenders who  are ready for  therapeutic court  and to                                                               
put forth the effort.                                                                                                           
MR. ROEHL relayed  that some people use therapeutic  court to get                                                               
out of  jail and "that's okay."   He continued by  saying that at                                                               
some point,  usually within  the first three  months, there  is a                                                               
"light switch  moment" when  the program  starts working  for the                                                               
individual.   The person  engages more,  shares more,  attends AA                                                               
and NA  meetings, and engages with  his/her sponsor.    The whole                                                               
team looks  for that  to occur  and can see  that the  program is                                                               
working.  He added that once  the offender starts to work his/her                                                               
own program, the POs will fight  for that person.  He referred to                                                               
the reentry simulations  and offered that he would like  to see a                                                               
therapeutic court  simulation.  Under the  therapeutic court, the                                                               
offender does not  go back to jail for every  sanction; there are                                                               
alternatives, such as community service.                                                                                        
3:43:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  whether the  60 therapeutic  court                                                               
slots in  Anchorage are always  full and whether the  other slots                                                               
in communities around the state are always full.                                                                                
MR. WILSON  answered that the slots  are not always full,  and it                                                               
varies.   He said that  it depends  on the selection  process and                                                               
the criteria; because of the limited  number of slots, there is a                                                               
vetting process.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether  slots are open  because of                                                               
the lack of awareness of therapeutic  court.  He asked whether an                                                               
offender convicted  of a  drug-related crime  could be  told that                                                               
therapeutic court  is an option  at the  time of conviction.   He                                                               
expressed his understanding that the slots are all funded.                                                                      
MR. WILSON agreed that the slots  are all funded.  He stated that                                                               
increased  awareness of  the program  is  key.   Many don't  hear                                                               
about the program until they  are incarcerated and find out about                                                               
it from another offender.                                                                                                       
MR.  ROEHL offered  a suggestion:   Show  a video  about Alaska's                                                               
therapeutic court  in the jails.   He stated that  his suggestion                                                               
may  come  to  fruition  through  the  efforts  of  Partners  for                                                               
MR. WILSON offered that the  most successful people are those who                                                               
complete the  drug course; they  are the  ones proven to  be less                                                               
likely to  recidivate.  The  alcohol offenders -  because alcohol                                                               
use  is  socially  acceptable  and   legal  -  tend  to  be  less                                                               
successful after  completing the program.   He offered  his guess                                                               
for the  success rate for completing  the program to be  about 95                                                               
percent.   In answer to Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins's question                                                               
about commonalities  among offenders who  are ready to  get help,                                                               
he stated that the peer-to-peer  component and the process groups                                                               
allow offenders  to be  enlightened by those  who have  "hit rock                                                               
bottom" and can share what's ahead for the offenders.                                                                           
3:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked for the  timeline of the  program and                                                               
the opportunity  to give  the offender  additional time  to reach                                                               
that light switch moment.                                                                                                       
MR. WILSON  answered that  there is  an 18-month  requirement for                                                               
the DUI  court; there is  a 12-month timeline for  drug offenses.                                                               
He maintained that a continuum of  care is what is really needed,                                                               
because   after  graduation   -  when   all  the   oversight  and                                                               
accountability is  gone - there  needs to be something  to bridge                                                               
the gap.   He said that he has thought  of collaborating with the                                                               
Department  of  Corrections  (DOC),  the  probation  office,  and                                                               
prosecutors  to   implement  a  requirement  that   the  graduate                                                               
participate in the alumni group  for four months after completion                                                               
of the [therapeutic court] program to provide accountability.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked why the  program is shorter  for drug                                                               
offenses compared with alcohol offenses.                                                                                        
MR. WILSON responded that he did not know why.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE asked whether  a PO could request additional                                                               
time in the program for an offender.                                                                                            
MR.  ROEHL answered  that the  need for  additional time  becomes                                                               
evident; sometimes people relapse in  the program and the time is                                                               
extended, or they are put back  into an earlier phase to "reset."                                                               
He mentioned that the alternative is jail time.                                                                                 
3:50:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  whether the  peer-to-peer support                                                               
is "baked" into the therapeutic court program.                                                                                  
MR. WILSON  answered, yes  it has  been.  He  said that  once the                                                               
alumni group  was formed, the peer-to-peer  support component was                                                               
adopted as  part of the program.   He offered that  nationally it                                                               
is recognized as an important component.                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  referred to  the lower  recidivism rates                                                               
among therapeutic court participants and  the reduced cost - one-                                                               
sixth the  cost of incarceration.   He expressed his  interest in                                                               
Pay  for  Success (PFS)  -  Social  Impact  Bonds  - which  is  a                                                               
financial tool to fund something proven to create better long-                                                                  
term  social outcomes,  even when  there is  considerable upfront                                                               
cost.   He  offered that  the limiting  factors -  the number  of                                                               
slots  available  and  awareness  of   the  program  -  could  be                                                               
addressed through policy changes.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  expressed   her  interest  in  redirecting                                                               
dollars from less successful programs to proven programs.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  commented that  the public's  perception is                                                               
that this type of treatment is  occurring in Alaska's DOC, but it                                                               
is not; therefore,  there is a false expectation  that the issues                                                               
that put offenders  into the correctional system  are resolved by                                                               
the time they are released.   She offered that the state needs to                                                               
provide directives  to DOC on  how to give direction  and options                                                               
to offenders.   She  opined that  it is  unfortunate that  it has                                                               
taken  the  state this  long  to  recognize and  implement  these                                                               
effective  programs.   She lauded  the two  testifiers for  their                                                               
rehabilitation and  testimony; their  experiences are  being used                                                               
as a  tool to help  other offenders  and to help  the legislators                                                               
provide better policy.                                                                                                          
3:55:57 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:55 p.m. to 3:58 p.m.                                                                       
3:58:19 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURA BROOKS,  Health Care Administrator, Division  of Health and                                                               
Rehabilitation,  Department of  Corrections (DOC),  continued her                                                               
presentation  (from  the  2/13/20 House  State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee  meeting   and  included  in  the   committee  packet),                                                               
entitled  "Alaska  Rehabilitation and  Reentry  A  Report to  the                                                               
Legislature,"  by starting  with slide  11, entitled  "Vocational                                                               
Programs."   She  explained  that the  report  was a  requirement                                                               
under  HB  49;  it  reviews  DOC's  rehabilitative  programs  and                                                               
statewide  efforts  for  reentry.     She  stated  that  lack  of                                                               
employment is one of the  criminogenic factors that contribute to                                                               
recidivism; the  vocational programs through DOC  are integral to                                                               
rehabilitation.   She pointed out  the 15 programs listed  on the                                                               
slide   and  mentioned   that   there   are  vocational   program                                                               
coordinators in  all DOC facilities  who ensure  the availability                                                               
of a wide variety of programs.   The programs are chosen based on                                                               
inmate interest,  instructor availability, size of  the facility,                                                               
and  the Department  of Labor  and Workforce  Development (DOLWD)                                                               
occupational forecast  to ensure that the  programs being offered                                                               
meet the  needs of the offender  and of Alaska.   She stated that                                                               
the programs are constantly being  reviewed to make sure that DOC                                                               
is providing  the appropriate  program to  the right  offender at                                                               
the right time.  The programs  can take anywhere from one day for                                                               
certification  to two  years.   She  relayed that  last year,  24                                                               
individuals received a trade certification while in custody.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  asked  how  DOC  tracks  the  outcomes  of                                                               
training as far as inmates being  hired upon release, and how the                                                               
current occupational needs influence class offerings.                                                                           
MS. BROOKS  replied that  DOC is continuing  to develop  a review                                                               
process, but the outcomes are difficult  to track.  She said that                                                               
DOC can determine  if an individual is employed  or not employed,                                                               
but  there currently  is no  mechanism in  place that  determines                                                               
that an  individual, who completed  a program, was hired  in that                                                               
field  upon release,  except through  anecdotal information  from                                                               
probations office  and education coordinators.   She relayed that                                                               
DOC looks  to DOLWD  recommendations for  programs that  meet the                                                               
needs of the offender population.                                                                                               
4:02:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY asked  why information  technology (IT)  is                                                               
not on the list on slide 11.   She also asked if there is data on                                                               
how many people enlisted in each of the classes.                                                                                
MS. BROOKS  answered that  DOC keeps rosters  for each  class and                                                               
tracks  the number  of people  completing each  class.   She said                                                               
that a  computer skills class is  one of the core  programs under                                                               
the education  group of programs.   The department is  looking to                                                               
expand that program.                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked whether  DOC has  considered collaborating                                                               
with employers  that have  apprenticeship programs;  he mentioned                                                               
union, non-union,  regional and village corporations,  and Alaska                                                               
Native corporation  shareholders.  He  said, "The model  that the                                                               
operating  engineers  and the  iron  workers  developed could  be                                                               
extended beyond those trades and  beyond union apprenticeships to                                                               
more generally  leverage multi-employer associations and  some of                                                               
our  largest employers,  which would  be  Alaska Native  regional                                                               
corporations."    He  asked  her to  discuss  DOC's  capacity  to                                                               
formalize those linkages.                                                                                                       
MS. BROOKS  responded that DOC  has several  partnerships related                                                               
to  the  programs  he mentioned.    The  education  coordinators,                                                               
institutional  POs,  and field  POs  are  some of  the  strongest                                                               
linkages  to  ensure  that individuals  -  through  the  offender                                                               
management  program   -  have   opportunities  and   linkages  to                                                               
employers  in the  community, once  a  class is  completed.   She                                                               
added  that through  a grant,  a  job specialist  from DOLWD  was                                                               
placed  at one  of the  facilities with  incredible success;  the                                                               
specialist  placed  about  130 women  out  of  Highland  Mountain                                                               
Correctional Center  (HMCC) into  jobs.   The grant  has expired,                                                               
but  DOC has  partnered with  DOLWD to  put job  specialists back                                                               
into the facilities;  there is one currently at HMCC,  and DOC is                                                               
trying  to make  that  job  fulltime.   She  maintained that  job                                                               
placement is a critical piece for  inmates to use the skills they                                                               
have learned.                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  for  the  cost of  having  a DOLWD  staff                                                               
person fulltime in every facility.                                                                                              
MS. BROOKS answered that she did not know.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked  to  be   provided  the  information  and                                                               
mentioned  the possibility  of it  being included  in the  fiscal                                                               
year 21 (FY21) operating budget request.                                                                                        
4:06:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE   asked  about  the  process   for  getting                                                               
employment  for  the  inmate  and the  contribution  of  the  job                                                               
MS.  BROOKS  answered  that  it varies  depending  on  the  trade                                                               
program.  She  said that often the job specialist  works with the                                                               
inmate on  determining what  job is  a good  fit, which  class to                                                               
take,  and then  prepares an  employer in  the community  for the                                                               
employee.   She maintained  that the  effort is  in collaboration                                                               
with the other job skills  programs provided to the inmates while                                                               
in custody  - resume  writing and interview  skills -  to prepare                                                               
them to succeed at the job and be a good employee.                                                                              
CO-CHAIR FIELDS concurred  that the first step for  the inmate on                                                               
release is connecting  with reentry services and  searching for a                                                               
job;  however,  the more  refined  model  is  for them  to  leave                                                               
incarceration and have a job  lined up, which takes an additional                                                               
level of  coordination.  He  asked about the  differences between                                                               
facilities   as  far   as   involvement   with  these   programs,                                                               
considering the reliance on skilled instructors.                                                                                
MS. BROOKS replied  that it depends on size of  the facility:  at                                                               
Goose  Creek Correctional  Center (GCCC),  DOC can  offer several                                                               
robust trade programs  by virtue of the size of  the facility and                                                               
the space  available; Anvil  Mountain Correctional  Center (AMCC)                                                               
and Fairbanks Correctional  Center (FCC) cannot.   She added that                                                               
AMCC  and FCC  have large  pretrial populations;  however, Spring                                                               
Creek  Correctional Center  (SCCC), Wildwood  Correctional Center                                                               
(WCC), and  GCCC all have  longer-term prisoners -  the sentenced                                                               
population - therefore, are better  positioned for those types of                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked her  to  discuss  facilities with  strong                                                               
programs and what enables success at those facilities.                                                                          
MS.  BROOKS relayed  that the  barber  program is  one of  GCCC's                                                               
popular programs;  there is an  inmate who teaches the  class and                                                               
manages the  program.   She mentioned that  the program  is being                                                               
replicated in WCC  and SCCC.  She offered that  the welding class                                                               
is taught  out of a mobile  welding truck.  Some  facilities have                                                               
welding   simulators   for   practice.     The   department   has                                                               
partnerships  with  the   ironworkers;  several  individuals  who                                                               
operate  the  mobile welding  truck  were  former inmates.    The                                                               
welding class is very popular and always full.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS  commented   that   the  building   maintenance                                                               
apprenticeship  was  an  apprenticeship  initiated  by  DOC  with                                                               
DOLWD; he asked for the status of that program.                                                                                 
MS.  BROOKS   stated  that   she  would   follow  up   with  that                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  whether DOC  has leveraged  its power  of                                                               
procurement  to   support  these   programs,  that   is,  provide                                                               
opportunities  and   incentives  to  the  employers   who  employ                                                               
returning  citizens  by  offering   the  companies  work  at  the                                                               
MS.  BROOKS   responded  that  she   didn't  know   whether  that                                                               
opportunity is written into the  procurement policy; however, she                                                               
stressed that DOC  has absolutely been able to  forge those types                                                               
of  relationships through  the  instructors  and the  individuals                                                               
that  come into  the  facilities, who  become  familiar with  the                                                               
inmates, and  in turn, work  with the inmates, giving  them every                                                               
opportunity  for employment  upon  release.   She mentioned  that                                                               
DOLWD has  the Fidelity  Bonding Program  [for the  employment of                                                               
at-risk job seekers] and there  is a federal tax credit available                                                               
to employers who hire at-risk employees.                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR   FIELDS  suggested   that   DOC  consider   procurement                                                               
incentives for companies that hire returning citizens.                                                                          
4:12:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  asked whether  the  job  training was  for                                                               
sentenced inmates or all inmates.                                                                                               
MS. BROOKS  answered that  there are  programs available  for the                                                               
pretrial  population,  but  the  length of  the  program  is  the                                                               
limiting factor.   A pretrial inmate can be put  on the wait list                                                               
but would be farther down the list than a long-term inmate.                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  Ms. Brooks  to comment  on the  status of                                                               
seafood employment  partnerships at the different  facilities for                                                               
both inmates and returning citizens.                                                                                            
MS. BROOKS answered that DOC  is currently working on identifying                                                               
a pool of offenders who will  be eligible to work in the canaries                                                               
next  season.   She  offered that  there is  a  demand for  those                                                               
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  asked whether  that type of  work is  limited to                                                               
communities with  both a correctional  facility and  a processing                                                               
plant, or whether inmates can  be dispatched to another community                                                               
for the work.                                                                                                                   
MS. BROOK  replied that when  DOC looks  for a pool  of offenders                                                               
for seafood  processing, it  looks statewide.   She  relayed that                                                               
inmates working at  the seafood plant in Kenai would  not have to                                                               
necessarily come from WCC.                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  whether  there are  processing plants  in                                                               
King  Salmon,  Naknek,  and  on the  Aleutian  Islands  that  are                                                               
employing  returning citizens  and  whether DOC  has managed  the                                                               
hurdles, such as workers being able to meet with their POs.                                                                     
MS. BROOKS answered  that she is unsure and will  follow up.  She                                                               
maintained that  there has been  interest from  several employers                                                               
across the state for inmate hire.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  commented  that there  is  a  perpetual                                                               
undersupply of  labor for seafood [processing];  importing people                                                               
to do that work is difficult;  and although the work is hard, the                                                               
pay is good.  He said that it  is a partnership that he wishes to                                                               
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  agreed.   He maintained  that hiring  inmates is                                                               
cheaper  than  hiring  a  J-1  [non-immigrant]  Visa  worker  and                                                               
"smooths" the  transition of the  inmate back into  the community                                                               
when released.  He said, "That would  be such a win for the state                                                               
both in terms of the inmates and the processors."                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE mentioned  that  the  University of  Alaska                                                               
(UA)  is offering  courses on  seafood processing  and trying  to                                                               
generate  more  activity,  because the  number  of  non-residents                                                               
working in  the industry is  extremely large.  She  asked whether                                                               
DOC  has  partnerships  with  UA in  programs,  such  as  seafood                                                               
processing, to fill the need and provide for jobs.                                                                              
MS. BROOKS  replied, "We  don't for seafood."   She  continued by                                                               
saying  that there  are some  college programs  available to  the                                                               
offender  population,  most  are  self-study  programs,  and  DOC                                                               
provides  tutoring.    The  department   has  an  agreement  with                                                               
Ilisagvik College [Utqiagvik]  to work with some of  the women at                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY asked  whether  the  program involving  the                                                               
seafood  industry   has  started  and   if  so,  how   many  have                                                               
MS. BROOKS relayed that last  year some offenders participated in                                                               
the program -  with mixed success.  She  explained the difficulty                                                               
in identifying offenders  to go to the processing plants:   it is                                                               
the  same  population  that  DOC  needs  to  fill  the  community                                                               
residential  center  (CRC)  slots,  and some  offenders  are  not                                                               
interested in working in the  seafood industry because it is very                                                               
hard work.  She offered that DOC  is trying to build up a pool of                                                               
workers so that  when the processing plant is  ready for workers,                                                               
there  will be  a group  ready to  go.   She maintained  that the                                                               
industry is very interested in  the inmate population, and DOC is                                                               
trying to encourage inmates to apply.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR FIELDS remarked  at the challenges of  the processors in                                                               
getting employees,  the need  for predictability  of a  supply of                                                               
workers as  they enter a  very busy season,  and the role  of the                                                               
state in providing workers.                                                                                                     
4:19:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS  turned to slide 12,  entitled "Faith-Based Programs,"                                                               
and offered  that DOC provides  many opportunities  for offenders                                                               
in custody to find spiritual  supports; it has fulltime chaplains                                                               
primarily  provided   by  religious  volunteers   through  Alaska                                                               
Correctional Ministries  [a nonprofit organization  that partners                                                               
with DOC Chaplaincy  Ministry statewide].  There  are about 1,200                                                               
active religious volunteers who  provide the following:  fulltime                                                               
chaplains;   chapel  services;   "faith   mods"  [an   ecumenical                                                               
residential  model];  transformational  living communities  -  an                                                               
intensive   faith-based  residential   program  which   offers  a                                                               
spiritual  approach  to  addressing  anger  management,  criminal                                                               
thinking,  and  addictions;   religious  studies;  and  spiritual                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked  whether  there  is  an  overlap  between                                                               
medication assisted  treatment and  faith-based programs,  or are                                                               
they separate tracks.                                                                                                           
MS.  BROOKS responded  that someone  in  the faith-based  program                                                               
could participate  in medication assisted treatment,  but the two                                                               
are separate programs.                                                                                                          
MS.  BROOKS  continued  with  slide  13,  entitled  "Prison-Based                                                               
Domestic Violence  Programs," and relayed that  DOC partners with                                                               
the Department of  Public Safety (DPS) and the  Alaska Council on                                                               
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault  (CDVSA).  Currently DOC and                                                               
CDVSA  are engaged  in  a comprehensive  review  of the  domestic                                                               
violence programming  to ensure  that the programs  are evidence-                                                               
based and  being delivered as  designed.  Presently  the domestic                                                               
violence  prison-based programs  are only  available in  three of                                                               
the facilities  - GCCC, Lemon  Creek Correctional  Center (LCCC),                                                               
and FCC.  Once the review  is complete and DOC implements the new                                                               
curriculum,  the  hope  is  that  it will  be  offered  in  every                                                               
facility.   She stated that  the need for that  program certainly                                                               
MS. moved  on to  slide 14,  entitled "Sex  Offender Management,"                                                               
and stated that Alaska has the  highest rate of sexual assault in                                                               
the  country  and  about  15  percent  of  DOC's  population  are                                                               
incarcerated for  sexual crimes.   The department worked  hard to                                                               
establish the programs, and enrollment  increased 25 percent last                                                               
year.    She  mentioned  that  the  "Institutional  Sex  Offender                                                               
Treatment" program  is in five  institutions; there are  88 slots                                                               
for treatment;  and there  are about  30 on the  wait list.   She                                                               
mentioned that there are more  offenders needing the program, but                                                               
they  prefer to  wait  until  they are  out  of  custody and  can                                                               
participate  in  the community  treatment  programs.   There  are                                                               
about 240  slots in  the community programs  and the  waitlist is                                                               
about 80.  She said that a little  over a year ago, DOC started a                                                               
"Video-Based  Treatment"   program;  an   Anchorage-based  mental                                                               
health  clinician provides  sex offender  treatment to  offenders                                                               
who return to their rural communities.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  asked why  the  inmates  wait to  get  sex                                                               
offender treatment until that are outside of the facilities.                                                                    
MS.  BROOKS answered  that the  inmates are  not required  by the                                                               
court  to participate  in in-custody  treatment, and  there is  a                                                               
stigma  associated with  being a  sex offender  in custody.   The                                                               
high-risk  sex   offender  residential  program  in   custody  is                                                               
intensive; the  inmate lives on  a "mod" and  undergoes treatment                                                               
every  day.   There  are no  residential  sex offender  treatment                                                               
programs in the community, and  for some, the community treatment                                                               
model is more appealing.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  whether Ms.  Brooks has  a sense  of                                                               
which model is more successful.                                                                                                 
MS.  BROOKS responded  that she  doesn't have  that data  but can                                                               
offer that  Alaska operates on  the "containment model";  once an                                                               
individual  is  released  from  custody,  there  is  a  specially                                                               
trained  PO   and  the  released  inmate   engages  in  cognitive                                                               
behavioral treatment  and undergoes polygraphs.   For individuals                                                               
who complete the  program, the recidivism rate  for sexual crimes                                                               
is  under  5  percent.    It  is  a  very  successful  model  and                                                               
considered   the  national   gold  standard   for  sex   offender                                                               
maintenance  and treatment  nationally.   She clarified  that the                                                               
model is for released inmates.   She explained that recidivism is                                                               
defined  as offending  within three  years post-release.   For  a                                                               
non-sex offender, the recidivism rate is 59.9 percent.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked for the  length of time  the offender                                                               
is subject to the containment model.                                                                                            
MS. BROOKS  answered, it  depends.  She  said that  the treatment                                                               
provider's   recommendation  in   collaboration  with   the  PO's                                                               
recommendation  determines whether  the  offender's treatment  is                                                               
complete.  Goals are established,  and once the offender achieves                                                               
the goals, the treatment team meets and makes the determination.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE   asked  whether  there   are  similarities                                                               
between  the  wellness court  and  the  containment model.    She                                                               
expressed her understanding that both  the wellness court and the                                                               
containment model  are very successful models;  however, there is                                                               
"a huge  swath of people  in between"  that are not  getting what                                                               
they need.                                                                                                                      
4:26:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BROOKS replied  that one  of the  most effective  models for                                                               
reducing  recidivism  is  putting individuals  through  cognitive                                                               
behavioral treatment.  She maintained  that the challenge for the                                                               
Alaska correctional system  is that only about 25  percent of the                                                               
population is  released on  probation and  parole; that  leaves a                                                               
huge percentage of  the offender population for whom  there is no                                                               
requirement  to participate  in  substance  abuse treatment,  sex                                                               
offender  treatment, education,  or  any of  the  programs.   She                                                               
explained that DOC  is working very hard to build  up programs in                                                               
custody,  so that  when  the offenders  are  literally a  captive                                                               
audience, DOC can  offer them the opportunities.   She reiterated                                                               
that DOC  cannot force  them to participate  in the  programs; it                                                               
tries to  incentivize the programs, and  staff encourages inmates                                                               
to participate.   She  maintained that  the success  stories that                                                               
the committee heard is a  powerful tool; therefore, DOC is trying                                                               
to build  up peer  mentorship and support  programs.   That would                                                               
allow individuals, who  have been successful in  the recovery and                                                               
reentry  process,   to  encourage   and  direct   inmates  toward                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  whether  mandating participation  in                                                               
the programs  violates [inmate] freedoms,  and whether  there are                                                               
court-ordered treatments.                                                                                                       
MS. BROOKS responded that it depends:   anyone convicted of a sex                                                               
offense  must participate  in sex  offender treatment;  there are                                                               
some substance use cases for  which the offender is court ordered                                                               
to participate  in substance abuse  treatment.  She said  that if                                                               
there is not a court order in place,  it may be put in place by a                                                               
parole board.   She  mentioned that education  is never  a court-                                                               
ordered program and DOC cannot  require it; therefore, there must                                                               
be intrinsic  motivation for  the offender  to participate.   She                                                               
said that some  inmates are not interested, and the  most DOC can                                                               
do is to  offer it, make it attractive to  inmates, and encourage                                                               
them to participate.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  expressed her understanding that  there was                                                               
a  policy  to  give  inmates  credit  for  time  served  if  they                                                               
participated  in treatment.    She  offered that  it  is a  smart                                                               
policy and asked for a history of such a policy.                                                                                
4:30:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked  whether  the Department  of  Health  and                                                               
Social   Services   (DHSS)   was    working   on   peer   support                                                               
certification,  and whether  DOC has  worked with  DHSS to  bring                                                               
more peer  support into facilities.   He  asked for an  update on                                                               
that effort.                                                                                                                    
MS.   BROOKS  confirmed   that  DHSS   is  working   on  a   peer                                                               
certification program  to ensure  that people who  are interested                                                               
in  this work  have the  appropriate  training.   There are  paid                                                               
positions in the community currently.   There is an agency out of                                                               
Fairbanks  doing that  training and  certifying people,  which is                                                               
not DHSS approved, but the training is required.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY  asked  where the  sex  offender  treatment                                                               
programs are located.                                                                                                           
MS. BROOKS  answered that the  in-custody sex  offender treatment                                                               
programs are in GCCC, LCCC, AMCC, WCC, and HMCC.                                                                                
4:31:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS referred to slide  15, entitled "Prosocial & Give-Back                                                               
Programs," and  declared that  a busy inmate  is a  safer inmate.                                                               
Some of  the programs listed  on the  slide are designed  to keep                                                               
the inmates busy and engaged  in healthy prosocial programs.  She                                                               
said that  yoga, running,  and basketball  are life  skills which                                                               
teach the inmates  healthy living.  Book  clubs encourage healthy                                                               
communication; quilting  and hobby craft teach  concentration and                                                               
focus and perhaps the opportunity  to create and finish something                                                               
for  the  first  time.     She  emphasized  the  power  of  these                                                               
activities to  foster self-satisfaction and an  opportunity to be                                                               
engaged in positive work.  She  mentioned the value of the canine                                                               
program  -   to  train  a   dog  and  experience  a   feeling  of                                                               
accomplishment.  She maintained  that the giveback programs offer                                                               
the  opportunity to  put someone  else  first, give  back to  the                                                               
community,  and  grow "self-worth."    She  stated that  creative                                                               
writing  classes  can  be  therapeutic  for  the  offenders;  the                                                               
Lullaby Project at  HMCC pairs inmates with musicians  to write a                                                               
lullaby to one's child.  She  offered that most of these programs                                                               
are implemented  through the special  interests of the  staff and                                                               
community volunteers.   She  also talked  about the  knitting and                                                               
woodworking projects that  are dispersed as gifts.   She asserted                                                               
that   the  prosocial   activities  are   an  integral   part  of                                                               
rehabilitation   and  addressing   the  criminogenic   needs  for                                                               
developing  prosocial attitudes,  prosocial peers,  and prosocial                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  expressed  the  importance  of  people  in  the                                                               
community positively engaging with inmates.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked where the prison  system gets their                                                               
books,  and what  DOC  can do  to expand  newspaper  access.   He                                                               
stated that  he understands that  there is  no access to  news in                                                               
the prisons.                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS answered that the facilities have libraries.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked whether  the prison  libraries were                                                               
MS. BROOKS  expressed her belief  that most  of the books  in the                                                               
DOC libraries are donated.   She added that the General Education                                                               
Development (GED) testing books  are funded through the education                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY mentioned  two successful  programs offered                                                               
at  LCCC:    the  Northwest   Coast  Arts  Partnership  Expansion                                                               
program, sponsored by the Sealaska  Heritage Institute (SHI); and                                                               
"The  Flying University"  program  [the study  of literature  and                                                               
philosophy  led  by  a  professor at  the  University  of  Alaska                                                               
Southeast  (UAS)].   She expressed  her  understanding that  both                                                               
programs were  discontinued.  She  asked for  follow-up regarding                                                               
those two programs.                                                                                                             
4:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS continued by turning  to slide 16, entitled "Reentry,"                                                               
which read:   "PROCESS BY WHICH OFFENDERS WHO  HAVE BEEN RELEASED                                                               
RETURN  TO THE  COMMUNITY."    She relayed  that  reentry is  the                                                               
process  that  helps  offenders return  to  the  communities  and                                                               
successfully resume  family and community responsibilities.   She                                                               
maintained that reentry is not  a new concept; Alaska has reentry                                                               
coalitions,  reentry events,  reentry in-reach,  and grant  funds                                                               
focused on  reentry.  The  POs and mental health  clinicians have                                                               
been engaged  with reentry for  a long  time.  She  stressed that                                                               
"reentry" is not  a buzzword and it's not a  program but really a                                                               
philosophy.  The offender management plan  (OMP) - from day one -                                                               
builds  toward successful  reentry and  returning the  inmates to                                                               
the community.   She stated that  given the fact that  95 percent                                                               
of  inmates return  to the  community, DOC  has an  obligation to                                                               
ensure  that these  individuals  return "better"  than when  they                                                               
came to  DOC and that someone  in the community is  ready to help                                                               
them keep the momentum going.                                                                                                   
MS. BROOKS  moved on  to slide  17, entitled  "Systemwide Reentry                                                               
Efforts,"  and  stated  that  the   slide  represents  a  general                                                               
overview of the  report.  She mentioned DOC's  "Second Chance Act                                                               
Grants"  of  $1 million  to  develop  a sustainable  approach  in                                                               
establishing  policies   and  practices  to   improve  recidivism                                                               
outcomes.   The grants  fund dedicated reentry  POs to  work with                                                               
offenders while  they are still  in the facilities  to transition                                                               
them to the  community with their OMPs and supports.   The grants                                                               
also   provide   transportation,   clothing   vouchers,   housing                                                               
vouchers,  or whatever  is needed  by the  reentrants to  "get on                                                               
their feet"  in the first few  months after release.   She stated                                                               
that other Second Chance Grants  have been awarded in Alaska; DOC                                                               
collaborates  with the  other recipient  agencies to  ensure they                                                               
are well equipped to maximize the grant opportunities.                                                                          
MS.  BROOKS  discussed  two  mental  health  reentry  programs  -                                                               
Institutional  Discharge Project  Plus (IDP+)  and Assess,  Plan,                                                               
Identify, Coordinate (APIC) - that have  been in place for a very                                                               
long  time and  are specific  to DOC's  mentally ill  population.                                                               
Individuals  who  suffer  from   serious  mental  illness  and/or                                                               
cognitive disabilities  have a very structured  release plan when                                                               
they  leave prison,  which includes  a place  to live,  access to                                                               
medications, case management, and  Medicaid.  These programs have                                                               
support from  the Alaska Mental  Health Trust  Authority (AMHTA).                                                               
She  stated that  DOC is  working on  increasing case  management                                                               
access to DOC  facilities; there is a request  for proposal (RFP)                                                               
for a  reentry coordinator  for substance  abuse so  that someone                                                               
completing  the substance  program  in custody  has an  immediate                                                               
connection to  aftercare in the  community upon release.   For an                                                               
inmate who  was assessed with  a substance abuse problem  but was                                                               
unable  to complete  treatment in  custody, a  case manager  will                                                               
guide him/her to a program in the community.                                                                                    
MS.  BROOKS  described  the  in-reach  projects  of  the  reentry                                                               
centers  and reentry  coalitions; community  providers come  into                                                               
the facility  to put  on a "reentry  fair" informing  the inmates                                                               
about community services that are available to released inmates.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY  asked for  information about the  DOC staff                                                               
person who  coordinates with the  reentry agencies to  ensure the                                                               
"web of support."                                                                                                               
MS. BROOKS responded  that currently DOC has one  position who is                                                               
an  overall reentry  coordinator.   She  stated that  there is  a                                                               
request of $740,000  in the current budget (FY21)  to establish a                                                               
reentry unit  and add additional staff.   She relayed that  it is                                                               
an area  needing more collaboration,  organization, prioritizing,                                                               
and resource management.                                                                                                        
4:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked about  the release  of inmates.   She                                                               
said that  she heard while  touring SCCC  that inmates get  a bus                                                               
ticket  upon  release   and  are  on  their   own;  however,  she                                                               
maintained  that busses  bring  inmates to  the facility  weekly.                                                               
She  asked, "Why  aren't  we  helping those  ...  people who  are                                                               
reentering get a bus ride back  to the community, so that they're                                                               
not  feeling stranded  that they  ... have  to create  that first                                                               
step  on their  own?"    She asked  whether  what  she heard  was                                                               
MS. BROOKS  answered that  the bus  that Representative  Vance is                                                               
referring to  is a DOC  bus; DOC  has a statutory  requirement to                                                               
return people  to the point  of arrest.   She added  that because                                                               
SCCC is  for long-term  offenders, they  are from  every possible                                                               
community in Alaska.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  asked  whether  there  is  a  differential                                                               
between  a  person's point  of  arrest  and the  person's  "home"                                                               
community,  where the  released person  can connect  with his/her                                                               
PO, housing, and employment.                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS replied  that she doesn't have data,  but generally an                                                               
individual is  returned to his/her  home community, which  is the                                                               
point of arrest.                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked that DOC  offer comments and suggestions to                                                               
the legislature  on making a  policy change that would  offer the                                                               
returning citizen a choice in that matter.                                                                                      
4:46:35 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  WINKELMAN, Acting  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of                                                               
Corrections (DOC), clarified that  DOC has a statutory obligation                                                               
to take the  inmate back to the point of  arrest, but that policy                                                               
is often waived.   She mentioned that for an  inmate who has been                                                               
in prison  a long time,  his/her family  may have relocated.   In                                                               
answer to  a question from  Representative Fields,  she confirmed                                                               
that DOC takes the inmate back  to his/her home community when it                                                               
is in the best interest of the state.                                                                                           
MS.  BROOKS  referred  to   slide  18,  entitled  "Rehabilitative                                                               
Services Moving  Forward," and stated  that DOC is looking  for a                                                               
"pilot" halfway  house that  will be reentry  focused.   It would                                                               
give that released  inmate, who is not quite ready  to go back to                                                               
the  community,  an  opportunity to  continue  receiving  program                                                               
services.   It would be  an intensive program that  might include                                                               
DOLWD   post-incarceration  employment   classes,  GED   classes,                                                               
interview  skill  classes, or  whatever  classes  the person  may                                                               
need.  She offered that  DOC is standardizing its core curriculum                                                               
throughout  its  facilities;   therefore,  someone  can  transfer                                                               
between facilities  and continue in a  program.  She said  that a                                                               
section of  HMCC is being  remodeled to expand its  mental health                                                               
unit to ensure that DOC's  most vulnerable population has as much                                                               
access  to support  as  possible.   She  emphasized the  training                                                               
opportunities  for  staff:    mental  health  first  aid;  trauma                                                               
informed care; and crisis intervention models.                                                                                  
MS. BROOKS  continued by  saying that  offenders struggle  to get                                                               
substance abuse  assessment in  custody and  after release.   The                                                               
department has moved  to a standardized software which  is a gold                                                               
standard  for addictions,  entitled  "Continuum Software";  staff                                                               
have been trained  and the software is being  implemented; DOC is                                                               
considering it  for its  treatment providers.   She  reviewed the                                                               
benefits  of the  different agencies  using  the same  assessment                                                               
4:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BROOKS  referred to the  medication assisted  treatment (MAT)                                                               
within DOC  and DHSS's  new pilot  program in  Anchorage.   It is                                                               
focused  on  increasing  the  number   of  people  receiving  MAT                                                               
services  and expanding  the treatment  provider availability  to                                                               
that  population.   She  offered  that  access  to MAT  in  rural                                                               
communities is still very limited.                                                                                              
MS.  BROOKS  stated that  the  Department  of Education  &  Early                                                               
Development  (DEED)  is  another  partner  of  DOC  for  funding,                                                               
programs, and education supports for the offender population.                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS asked  for an  explanation of  "Increased Access                                                               
Through 1115 Waiver," shown on slide 18.                                                                                        
MS.  BROOKS explained  that it  is a  DHSS program  in which  the                                                               
[1115] Medicaid  waiver would allow  greater access  to substance                                                               
abuse treatment and behavioral health  treatment.  She added that                                                               
the waiver is  anticipated to have a significant  impact and make                                                               
it much  easier for  the DOC population  to access  that critical                                                               
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked for  confirmation  that  the 1115  waiver                                                               
would  allow  Alaska  to  tap  additional  federal  resources  to                                                               
provide substance abuse treatment to more people.                                                                               
MS. BROOKS answered, "once they get  out in the community, so not                                                               
in custody."   She said  that the programs offered  in facilities                                                               
are  state-funded;  in  the community,  access  is  limited;  the                                                               
waiver will  increase benefits and  access to both  mental health                                                               
and substance abuse treatments.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  for the  percentage of  inmates with                                                               
mental health [illness]  and brain injury, and  the training that                                                               
staff receive to work with people with mental illness.                                                                          
MS. BROOKS  responded that  DOC has  mental health  clinicians in                                                               
every  facility  and  psychiatrists  on  staff.    Offenders  are                                                               
screened as soon as they enter  the facilities.  About 65 percent                                                               
of  the  inmate  population  are AMHTA  beneficiaries,  that  is,                                                               
individuals with a diagnosable  mental health disorder, cognitive                                                               
disability,  or  developmental delay;  about  80  percent of  the                                                               
population have  substance use disorders; about  20-22 percent of                                                               
the  population have  a serious  and  persistent mental  illness,                                                               
such as  schizophrenia or bipolar  disorder.  She stated  that it                                                               
is  very difficult  to determine  the  percentage with  traumatic                                                               
brain injury  (TBI); nationally the  percentage is  anywhere from                                                               
15 to 87 percent.  She  said that TBI is often self-reported, and                                                               
the events  causing TBI  vary greatly; however,  DOC looks  at an                                                               
individual's ability to  function to determine the  presence of a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  whether all  staff have  training on                                                               
managing people with mental illness.                                                                                            
MS.  BROOKS  replied  that  DOC  has  mental  health  clinicians,                                                               
psychiatric nurses,  and the medical  staff.  She added  that the                                                               
correctional officers  (COs) receive  mental health  training and                                                               
suicide  prevention   training  in   the  academy;   AMHTA  funds                                                               
additional  trainings for  mental health,  such as  mental health                                                               
first  aid, trauma  informed care,  and a  train-the-trainers for                                                               
crisis  intervention  training  (CIT).    Through  community  law                                                               
enforcement,  there  is  now  a  model  for  correctional  crisis                                                               
intervention teams.                                                                                                             
4:57:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  asked how  DOC  could  let inmates  know                                                               
about therapeutic  courts while they  are in jail and  offer them                                                               
that opportunity.                                                                                                               
MS. BROOKS  acknowledged that she  was unaware of  the difficulty                                                               
in accessing the program.   She stated that the public defender's                                                               
office and  the judges  often recommend the  program and  are the                                                               
primary conduits.   She  mentioned that  she passed  her business                                                               
cards to  the testifiers  and is open  to posting  information in                                                               
the facilities.  She opined  that there are opportunities through                                                               
DOC substance  abuse treatment  programs, institutional  POs, and                                                               
mental  health   clinicians  for   making  people  aware.     She                                                               
maintained that  DOC works  very closely  with the  mental health                                                               
courts and regularly refers individuals.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS asked for follow-up  in the form of a plan                                                               
for implementing those suggestions.                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked about the  role of local police departments                                                               
in identifying  people who  are stealing  to "feed"  an addiction                                                               
and filling out  the police report in such a  way that the person                                                               
can access the therapeutic court.                                                                                               
MS. BROOKS moved  on to slide 19, entitled  "Needs Assessment for                                                               
Continued & Enhanced  Services," to review the  feedback from the                                                               
other  agencies  involved  in   reentry,  to  identify  gaps  [in                                                               
service] that still  exist.  She said that the  reentry unit will                                                               
work on the items listed on the slide.                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  FIELDS  asked  for  the   delta  between  housing  that                                                               
reentrants  are finding  and housing  that reentrants  need.   He                                                               
asked  whether the  state has  tried  to meet  housing needs  for                                                               
reentrants through the Alaska  Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC)                                                               
supported housing options.  He  maintained that doing so would be                                                               
much less expensive than reincarcerating  someone when the person                                                               
fails to find housing.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  asked for  follow-up on  possible statutory                                                               
changes  to facilitate  obtaining  a REAL  ID Act  identification                                                               
(ID) for a reentrant.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR FIELDS  stated that  he is  interested in  knowing which                                                               
facilities  can issue  state-recognized  IDs upon  release of  an                                                               
inmate, as  opposed to having to  get one at a  Division of Motor                                                               
Vehicles (DMV) office.                                                                                                          
MS. BROOKS responded that DOC gives the  inmate a DOC ID; it is a                                                               
voucher  with  the  individual's  picture  and  verifies  his/her                                                               
identification.  The DMV does  accept that document; however, the                                                               
person  still needs  to  go to  DMV.   About  12  percent of  the                                                               
released  population are  requesting assistance  with getting  an                                                               
CO-CHAIR FIELDS asked whether DMV  could bring ID services into a                                                               
facility  - perhaps  on an  itinerant  basis -  so that  everyone                                                               
leaving a  facility who  needs a driver's  license could  get one                                                               
without having to visit DMV.                                                                                                    
MR. BROOKS maintained that there have been discussions regarding                                                                
that issue, and she will provide an update.                                                                                     
5:03:39 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at [5:04]                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Rehabilitaition Reentry comments, Anglea Hall.pdf HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
DOC Rehabilitation Report 01-30-2020.pdf HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
DOC HSTA Presentation - Rehab and Reentry Report 02.13.2020.pdf HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB148 Sponsor Statement v. A 2.11.2020.pdf HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB148 Sectional Analysis v. A 2.11.2020.pdf HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Sponsor Statement v. A 2.11.2020.pdf HSTA 2/20/2020 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Sectional Analysis 2.11.2020.pdf HJUD 3/2/2020 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/4/2020 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/6/2020 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/20/2020 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Supporting Document HAP.pdf HSTA 2/20/2020 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 148
HB 148 Fiscal Note DHSS-BVS 2.13.2020.pdf HSTA 2/20/2020 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 2/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 148