Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/04/1998 09:08 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                          March 4, 1998                                        
                            9:08 a.m.                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
Senator Gary Wilken, Chairman                                                  
Senator Loren Leman, Vice-Chairman                                             
Senator Lyda Green                                                             
Senator Jerry Ward                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                           
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 252                                                            
"An Act relating to paternity establishment and child support;                 
relating to the crimes of criminal nonsupport and aiding the                   
nonpayment of child support; and amending Rule 37(b)(2)(D), Alaska             
Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                   
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 11                                            
Creating the Long-Term Care Task Force.                                        
     MOVED CSSCR 11 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 39                                                 
Relating to improving reading instruction in elementary and                    
secondary schools.                                                             
     MOVED CSSJR 39 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
SENATE BILL NO. 237                                                            
"An Act extending the termination date of the Council on Domestic              
Violence and Sexual Assault."                                                  
     HEARD AND HELD                                                            
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                               
SB 252 - See HESS minutes dated 3/2/98.                                        
SCR 11 - See HESS minutes dated 3/2/98.                                        
SJR 39 - See HESS minutes dated 3/2/98.                                        
SB 237 - No previous action.                                                   
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
Annette Kreitzer                                                               
Legislative Aide to Senator Leman                                              
Alaska State Capitol                                                           
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained SB 237                                          
Sandy Samaniego                                                                
Executive Director                                                             
Women in Crisis - Counseling and Assistance                                    
717 Ninth Avenue                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska  99701                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
Denali Daniels                                                                 
Standing Against Rape                                                          
1057 West Fireweed, Suite 230                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska  99515                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed domestic violence statistics                    
Jayne Andreen                                                                  
Executive Director                                                             
Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                
P.O. Box 111200                                                                
Juneau, Alaska  99811-1200                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
Trisha Gentle                                                                  
Standing Together Against Rape                                                 
1057 West Fireweed, Suite 230                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska  99515                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
Jan MacClarence                                                                
Abused Womens' Aid in Crisis                                                   
100 West 13th Avenue                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
Lauree Hugonin                                                                 
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                         
130 Seward St., Room 501                                                       
Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
Caren Robinson                                                                 
Alaska Women's Lobby                                                           
P.O. Box 33702                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska   99801                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
Cynthia Cooper                                                                 
Vice Chair of CDVSA                                                            
Department of Law                                                              
310 K Street, Suite 501                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska  99501-2064                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 237                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
TAPE 98-21, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
CHAIRMAN WILKEN called the Senate Health, Education and Social                 
Services (HESS) Committee to order at 9:08 a.m.  Present were                  
Senators Wilken, Green and Leman.  CHAIRMAN WILKEN announced the               
order of business would be SCR 11, SJR 39, and SB 237.  He noted SB
252 would not be discussed today, and was tentatively scheduled on             
Monday, March 9.                                                               
               SCR 11 - LONG-TERM CARE TASK FORCE                              
CHAIRMAN WILKEN announced a committee substitute (Version H) had               
been prepared for SCR 11 which incorporates the suggestions made at            
Monday's meeting.   SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt the committee                 
substitute (Version H) as the working document.                                
CHAIRMAN WILKEN explained the language on page 2, lines 18-23, was             
suggested by a committee member and pertains to the composition of             
the task force.  The number of members has been decreased from 12              
to nine.  Membership by the three commissioners was deleted.  The              
deadlines were also changed on page 3, lines 20, 21, 23, 24, 26,               
and 27.                                                                        
SENATOR LEMAN moved to report CSSCR 11 out of committee with                   
individual recommendations and its accompanying fiscal note.  There            
being no objection, the motion carried.                                        
            SJR 39 - SUPPORT READING EXCELLENCE ACT                            
CHAIRMAN WILKEN informed committee members a committee substitute              
(Version B) had been prepared for SJR 39, based on the discussion              
at the HESS meeting on March 2.                                                
SENATOR GREEN moved to adopt CSSJR 39 as the working document of               
the committee.  There being no objection, the motion carried.                  
CHAIRMAN WILKEN explained any reference to the word "phonics" was              
removed from the committee substitute in an effort to move the                 
resolution along.  His intent was to support the Reading Excellence            
Act without referencing the controversial topic of phonics, which              
can be dealt with in SB 203.                                                   
SENATOR LEMAN moved CSSJR 39 out of committee with individual                  
recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.                
      SB 237 - COUNCIL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & SEXUAL ASSAULT                      
ANNETTE KREITZER, Senate Labor and Commerce Committee aide,                    
explained SB 237 as follows.  SB 237 is one of several bills                   
introduced by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee to extend                
boards and commissions that are to expire this year.  The Council              
on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) was established in             
the Department of Public Safety in 1981.  SB 237 extends the                   
council's existence for another four years to June 30, 2002.  The              
most current audit (1997) conducted by the Legislative Budget and              
Audit Division (LBA) pointed out that some of CDVSA's current                  
problems were present in 1994.  CDVSA has been tasked with                     
coordinating services provided by certain state agencies and                   
community groups dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault,               
crisis intervention and prevention.  It is to provide technical                
assistance as requested by state agencies and community groups,                
develop a standardized data collection system, receive and dispense            
state and federal money, award grants and contracts, make an annual            
report to the Governor, and develop, implement, maintain and                   
monitor domestic violence, sexual assault and crisis intervention              
and prevention programs in consultation with authorities.  The 1994            
LBA audit revealed delays in posting data and data inaccuracy.  The            
accuracy problem is no longer a concern in the 1997 audit, but the             
posting delays are.  CDVSA has made strides in managing its data               
problem but the fiscal 1996 and 1997 annual reports, required by               
statute, have not been completed.                                              
Number 151                                                                     
SANDY SAMANIEGO, Executive Director of Women in Crisis - Counseling            
and Assistance in Fairbanks, introduced other directors of shelters            
from around the state.  Ms. Samaniego reminded the committee SB 237            
is not about maintaining domestic violence programs but is about               
the ability to provide services to victims of domestic violence,               
sexual assault, and child sexual abuse.  The Council is a very good            
way to funnel funds through to agencies.  This past fiscal year,               
the Women in Crisis - Counseling and Assistance organization                   
provided more services around the Fairbanks area than it has in its            
entire history.  It provided more shelter nights than ever and more            
people came to the shelter for support and advocacy services.  This            
increase shows the services are needed more than in the past.  She             
noted her support for SB 237.                                                  
Number 212                                                                     
DENALI DANIELS, representing Standing Together Against Rape (STAR),            
informed committee members of the following statistics.  Alaska has            
2.4 times the national average of incidences of rape.  Alaska also             
has six times the national average of child sexual assault and one             
out of five women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.  Rape            
is the most under-reported of all violent crimes: nine out of 10 go            
unreported. STAR in Anchorage served 916 new victims last fiscal               
SENATOR LEMAN asked, from the 916 victims STAR served last year,               
how many arrests and convictions occurred.  He added if one out of             
ten rapes is reported, about 10,000 rapes must be occurring each               
MS. DANIELS replied many of STAR's clients were not assaulted in               
the last year; some were assaulted 20 years ago.                               
SENATOR LEMAN questioned whether the number of arrests is small                
compared to the number of assaults.                                            
MS. DANIELS thought that was so.                                               
Number 242                                                                     
JAYNE ANDREEN, Director of the Council on Domestic Violence and                
Sexual Assault, gave committee members the following overview of               
CDVSA's activities and what is happening in the country and the                
state in terms of domestic violence and sexual assault.  CDVSA was             
established in 1981 as a statewide coordinating council.  A push at            
the national level to establish state coordinating councils has                
been underway and CDVSA was contacted six times last year by states            
looking for model legislation.  CDVSA is one of only two state                 
agencies that gives direct resources to locally based victim                   
service agencies that provide services to victims of crime.  One               
reason the council has been so successful is that all of the work              
it does is based on the needs of victims.  CDVSA listens carefully             
to what victims are saying regarding what their needs are and what             
is and is not working. CDVSA has focused on a grass roots, local               
structure because the council believes the only way to have an                 
impact on any issue or crime is to support the efforts being made              
at the local level.  CDVSA's membership includes department                    
representatives as well as public members.  Public members have                
traditionally come from local areas and are appointed by the                   
Governor  because of their knowledge of what is happening at the               
local level.  That membership configuration provides for local                 
knowledge as well as knowledge about what is happening at the state            
policy level.                                                                  
CDVSA's mission is to provide immediate safety and support to                  
victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and incest and to                
reduce the incidents of these crimes in Alaska.  The statutes                  
mandate CDVSA to:  fund and maintain locally based domestic                    
violence and sexual assault programs; provide for planning of                  
services to people affected by domestic violence and sexual                    
assault; coordinate domestic violence and sexual assault services              
provided by state and local agencies; develop and implement a                  
standardized data collection system; provide fiscal and technical              
support and assistance to domestic violence and sexual assault                 
agencies around the state; and provide technical support                       
coordination and consultation with state and local agencies on                 
training and policy development issues.                                        
MS. ANDREEN updated committee members about activities at the                  
national and state level during the last three to four years                   
regarding domestic violence and sexual assault.  The Violence                  
Against Women Act was passed by Congress in 1994 as part of the                
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.  The Act does a                 
number of things: it establishes federal penalties for domestic                
violence and sexual assault offenses; it provides resources to                 
states and tribes to improve law enforcement, prosecution, and                 
victim services; it provides sexual assault prevention funds                   
including a designated pot of money for youth ages 11 to 19; it                
established a national domestic violence hotline; it provides                  
resources and guidelines for mandatory arrest policies and grants;             
it provides funds for education and prevention and for data and                
research; it includes a strong emphasis on tribal involvement; and             
it establishes full faith and credit meaning that all states must              
honor and enforce protective orders from other jurisdictions.  In              
1996 the Domestic Violence Prevention and Victim Protection Act was            
passed in Alaska.  This Act rewrote Alaska's response to domestic              
violence by expanding the definitions of domestic violence and the             
use of protective orders.  The Act instructs the Department of                 
Public Safety to create a central registry on protective orders and            
establishes a mandatory arrest policy for law enforcement                      
throughout the state which focuses on a primary physical aggressor.            
It incorporates the safety of victims into all aspects of the                  
criminal justice system from pre-trial to post release and expands             
the victims' notification of their rights.  The Act also                       
establishes standards for batterers' intervention programs through             
the Department of Corrections.  It requires training on domestic               
violence for anyone who will work with victims.  It also begins                
addressing the issues of the impact that domestic violence has on              
children living in homes where domestic violence is occurring.                 
Throughout the Act, CDVSA is established as the                                
consultant/coordinator on most of the policy development and                   
training requirements.                                                         
CDVSA has funded local services since its inception.  Local                    
services are broken down by components.  CDVSA funds local programs            
to provide immediate safety, crisis intervention, childrens'                   
services, education prevention and outreach, and batterers'                    
programs.  CDVSA focuses on providing the grants to locally based,             
grass roots community supported and integrated agencies.                       
MS. ANDREEN provided the following statistics, which she said will             
be covered in more detail in CDVSA's annual report.  In FY 96,                 
CDVSA-funded programs served 11,763 people.  In FY 97 that number              
increased to 13,057 people, an 11 percent increase in one year.                
CDVSA believes the increase is due to the focus on domestic                    
violence as a result of the Domestic Violence Act.  The number of              
service contacts provided to people using council-funded services              
was just under 105,000 in FY 96, and over 136,000 in FY 97, a 29               
percent increase.  At the same time, the number of safe home nights            
dropped a small amount.  In FY 96, 50,836  safe home nights were               
provided while 49,997 were provided in FY 97.  The decrease is                 
attributed to the fact that victims did not have to leave home                 
because of the mandatory arrest policy.                                        
MS. ANDREEN discussed the prison batterers' program, an ongoing                
grant program.  CDVSA receives money from the Department of                    
Corrections through a reimbursable service agreement to provide                
batterer services in three correctional centers around the state.              
CDVSA believes this is an important way to impact and try to begin             
the intervention process with offenders.  In FY 98, CDVSA issued               
five seed grants to communities interested in developing sexual                
assault response teams.  These teams have designed a coordinated               
response to reports of sexual assault.  The teams are comprised of             
prosecution, law enforcement, victim services, and medical provider            
representatives.  This approach has produced a higher success rate             
for the prosecution of perpetrators.                                           
CDVSA receives federal money each year, through the Department of              
Health and Social Services (DHSS), for sexual assault prevention.              
The amount has increased from an average of $15,000 per year to                
about $100,000.  CDVSA provides this money in the form of grants               
for youth prevention.  Last year CDVSA worked with DHSS to devise              
a long range plan on how the money will be used over the next three            
to four years.  The primary issue identified is the need to provide            
tools and technical assistance to local communities to deal with               
these issues.  A community awareness  package is being developed to            
provide information as well as to develop statewide public service             
announcements and brochures.                                                   
An exciting initiative for CDVSA is the STOP grant, provided                   
through the federal Domestic Violence Against Women Act.  Each                 
state can participate once its governor designates a lead agency               
responsible for developing a collaborative effort.  Governor                   
Knowles designated CDVSA to be that entity in April of 1995.  CDVSA            
created a collaboration committee with representation from victim              
services from law enforcement, the Department of Law, the Court                
System, DHSS, the Alaska Judicial Council, and the Violence Against            
Indian Women grant recipient.  This group is responsible for                   
developing an annual plan that is funded by the Department of                  
Justice through the Violence Against Women Act Office.  The plans              
must provide 25 percent of the funds to victim services, 25 percent            
to prosecution, and 25 percent to law enforcement.  The group has              
some discretion over how the remaining 25 percent is spent.  Victim            
services money is primarily being used for a legal advocacy                    
project, administered by the Network on Domestic Violence and                  
Sexual Assault.  It is providing consultation, developing a                    
training manual and offering training to help local programs                   
develop legal advocacy services for victims of domestic violence.              
Under the prosecution component, a significant part of the money is            
being designated to annual training for both state and municipal               
prosecutors.  The focus of the training has been on domestic                   
violence stalking and sexual assault.  A paralegal coordinator has             
been hired to provide greater supervision and oversight of                     
paralegals in the local prosecutors' offices.  The paralegals                  
provide a primary link with victims as their case proceeds through             
the criminal justice system.  A summary of legal briefs and a                  
training video library are being developed to help prosecutors keep            
up to speed on the most current trends and issues surrounding                  
domestic violence and sexual assault.  Law enforcement's money is              
also going for training, model protocols, victim notice brochures,             
a training video for VPSOs, and interviewing equipment to develop              
better cases for prosecution.   A significant amount of the                    
discretionary money has been provided to the judiciary to train                
judges, magistrates, and court clerks, as well as a bench book to              
provide information on domestic violence cases.  Also, safe rooms              
are being set up in courthouses.                                               
CDVSA has funded 13 multidisciplinary rural sexual assault                     
trainings in the last three years.  The training brought an                    
overwhelmingly positive response from attendees.  The focus was to             
develop action plans on how the community could work together to               
address these crimes.                                                          
CDVSA receives funds from two other federal grants.  The first is              
a rural domestic violence and child victimization grant from the               
Department of Justice.  That grant is for three specific purposes.             
CDVSA is working with a multidisciplinary group to rewrite Alaska's            
1987 Inter-departmental Child Sexual Abuse Agreement.  CDVSA is                
laying out how each state agency is going to work with the others              
to address all forms of child abuse so the abused children and non-            
offending family members are traumatized as little as possible by              
agency intervention.  The grant provides funds to DFYS to rewrite              
its screening protocols on domestic violence and child abuse cases             
as well as appropriate responses.  Also, planning for 11 regional              
trainings throughout Alaska on a team approach to domestic violence            
and child abuse response is being developed.  The second grant is              
known as the grant to encourage mandatory arrest. Grant funds are              
provided to the Department of Public Safety to develop the central             
registry for protective orders and to the Alaska State Troopers to             
provide VPSOs with domestic violence training.  Money was also made            
available to purchase Polaroid kits to better document cases.                  
Funds were provided to the Department of Law to develop a volunteer            
legal advocate core to assist paralegals and prosecutors in                    
maintaining contact with victims.  Finally, funds were provided to             
the Department of Corrections to develop a pilot project for                   
misdemeanant domestic violence offenders.                                      
CDVSA has also been actively involved in coordinating with the                 
Court System, the Division of Public Assistance in addressing                  
welfare reform and the domestic violence exceptions, the Division              
of Public Health in the development of emergency medical services,             
Alaska's interdepartmental committee for young children, the Alaska            
Statewide Child Protection Team, the Tribal State Collaboration                
Group, Department of Corrections Victim Services Promising                     
Practices Conference and plans, Maternal Child and Family Health               
Domestic Violence Project, local law enforcement agencies on the               
implementation of the Domestic Violence Law, and numerous local                
agencies interested in applying for some of the discretionary                  
federal grants.                                                                
MS. ANDREEN addressed the three recommendations contained in LBA's             
1997 audit.  The first recommendation pertained to CDVSA's failure             
to complete onsite evaluations for the past two years.  CDVSA is               
back on track and by the end of FY 98 will have evaluated all but              
one of its funded programs, which will be completed this summer.               
CDVSA has implemented timelines.  The onsite evaluations have been             
completed, as well as a draft report.  The second recommendation in            
both the 1994 and 1997 LBA audits related to data collection.                  
CDVSA recently hired a data entry employee.  Data entry through FY             
97 has been completed, and CDVSA expects to be caught up shortly.              
Eventually each program will be responsible for doing its own data             
entry.  Five pilot sites are testing software developed for this               
purpose.  CDVSA expects this approach to be fully implemented in FY            
99.  LBA's final concern was that CDVSA did not complete its FY 96             
and FY 97 annual reports.  The incompletion was due to the fact                
that the data entry had not been completed.  CDVSA is drafting its             
reports at this time and expects them to be compled by the end of              
MS. ANDREEN concluded by discussing the Domestic Violence Summit               
that occurred in December.  National and statewide leaders and                 
front line people discussed how Alaska is measuring up.  Alaska has            
one of the most comprehensive response systems to domestic violence            
in the country.  Alaska has also consistently listened to the                  
voices of battered women in whatever policy decisions have been                
made.  A dedicated group of people work on this issue, and an                  
educated Legislature and Governor have been willing to put aside               
partisan politics to address domestic violence.  Alaska has the                
availability of regional shelters and a systemic response to                   
promote victim safety and it has developed a good set of batterer              
intervention standards.  Alaska does need more resources for                   
shelters, transitional housing and victim services.  A lot of                  
people are not being provided with immediate safety and crisis                 
intervention.  Alaska needs to pay more attention to how to                    
effectively respond to offenses in rural areas.  Better                        
coordination of community responses will improve the effectiveness             
of the existing system.  Alaska needs to pay much more attention to            
how domestic violence affects children,  and it needs to eliminate             
conditions within its institutions, communities, and its                       
relationships that support violence against women.                             
Number 500                                                                     
SENATOR LEMAN asked Ms. Andreen to provide him with CDVSA's written            
report.  He expressed concern about the administrative deficiencies            
she  discussed and he wants to make sure CDVSA is collecting good              
data and that it is developing reports.  He asked what data CDVSA              
collects at this time, and whether that data can show whether                  
occurrences of domestic violence are on the rise, or whether more              
people are reporting occurrences.                                              
MS. ANDREEN replied CDVSA has not had the ability to capture                   
accurate data on the number of incidences and the number of people             
directly involved in domestic violence.  CDVSA has collected                   
information on the people who receive services from the programs               
funded around the state.  Two forms are currently being used: the              
first is a client intake form which gathers demographic information            
on the recipient of services including family history of violence              
and/or abuse as well as legal services accessed.  That report is               
filled out when a person initially becomes a client, and is updated            
later on if there is a significant change of status, i.e., a client            
may receive domestic violence services and later it is discovered              
that the client's child is a victim of incest or child sexual                  
abuse.  A new demographic form would be completed for that issue.              
Also, programs complete a services provider form each month.  That             
form documents what types of services have been received by each               
client.  It also includes the number of shelter stays and safe home            
nights.  Until 1994, CDVSA was not able to effectively access that             
information because its software was inadequate.  While CDVSA's                
information is limited to the people seeking out services, the                 
Alaska State Troopers, Court System, Department of Corrections and             
Department of Law began tracking domestic violence figures in 1996.            
CDVSA hopes to eventually pull all of the pieces together.  It will            
not be able to track one person through the system, but it will be             
able to find comparative data, such as the number of calls,                    
arrests, and prosecutions.                                                     
Number 546                                                                     
SENATOR LEMAN asked Ms. Andreen to address his question about the              
number of arrests for rape versus the number reported.                         
MS. ANDREEN responded that CDVSA estimates the number of cases                 
reported versus the number that occurs ranges from 10 to 12                    
SENATOR LEMAN asked whether the number of arrests is even smaller.             
MS. ANDREEN believed the number is considerably smaller.  She                  
offered to provide the committee with those statistics.                        
SENATOR LEMAN stated those offenders need to be pulled off of the              
street.  He referred to Speaker Phillips' February 2 letter, and               
asked what CDVSA's philosophy is on the batterers' intervention                
MS. ANDREEN stated CDVSA has looked for alternate forms of funding             
during the past year and requested permission to use some federal              
money to subsidize batterers' intervention programs, however the               
request was denied.  The question of how to address this issue was             
discussed at the Domestic Violence Summit.  CDVSA did not                      
specifically request an increase in the FY 99 budget for batterers'            
intervention programs.  It did request a small increase for victim             
services and an increase for 1.5 positions in the CDVSA office to              
deal with the administrative overload.  MS. ANDREEN said drawing               
the line between victim safety and subsidizing batterers programs              
has been difficult.  CDVSA believes offenders should pay for their             
own treatment but it cannot condone a criminal rehabilition system             
that is available only to those offenders who have money.                      
SENATOR LEMAN asked whether CDVSA lobbied for any legislation not              
listed in the LBA report.                                                      
MS. ANDREEN answered she did not have that information with her but            
would provide it at a later date.                                              
TAPE 98-21, SIDE B                                                             
SENATOR WARD asked Ms. Andreen to elaborate on CDVSA's input into              
the Department of Corrections' policy on treatment program for sex             
MS. ANDREEN replied CDVSA has not been directly involved in the                
Department of Corrections' discussions about the Highland Mountain             
facility.  CDVSA is serving on a Department of Corrections'                    
committee that is conducting a needs assessment of female inmates              
by surveying them to identify a number of demographic and                      
background issues.  The survey has revealed, among other things,               
that a majority of the female inmates are victims of domestic                  
violence or sexual assault.                                                    
SENATOR WARD said a lot of money is being spent on treatment                   
programs for sexual offenders yet he is not sure anyone can ever be            
cured, especially if alcohol abuse is also an issue.  He asked Ms.             
Andreen if CDVSA plans to review the program criteria because                  
millions of dollars are being spent without any apparent results.              
He noted he cannot find out who devised the program criteria and               
policies.  He stated his goal is to find out why the programs are              
not working and to determine if the programs need to incorporate               
cultural relevance and/or alcohol and drug treatment.                          
Number 535                                                                     
MS. ANDREEN responded that CDVSA has not been actively involved in             
coordinating with DOC on its sex offender treatment program during             
the past four years, but DOC has been very gracious about sharing              
any studies it has.  She stated she would discuss the issue with               
CDVSA and DOC.  She added CDVSA has a close working relationship               
with DOC in regard to the standards for prison batterers programs.             
SENATOR ELLIS thanked Ms. Andreen and CDVSA for their support of               
the electronic victim notification program that should become                  
operational any day.  He asked Ms. Andreen to comment about the                
attitude of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation toward victims              
of domestic violence, and to comment about the adequacy of                     
substance abuse treatment programs since alcohol is almost always              
a factor in domestic violence incidences.                                      
MS. ANDREEN replied CDVSA has worked with the Alaska Housing                   
Finance Corporation (AHFC), at its request, a couple of times in               
the last four years while it was evaluating its policies.  CDVSA is            
very concerned about AHFC's policies toward transitional housing               
and homeless needs of victims of domestic violence. Grantees                   
occasionally express concerns about local implementation.  CDSVA               
believes local relations need to be dealt with at the local level              
so it provides information and support for programs.  CDVSA can act            
as an advocate on behalf of victims statewide, so it does get                  
involved in issues that cannot be addressed at the local level.                
Shelters provide women and children a place to live for up to two              
months, but it can take up to one year for a family to stabilize               
after the crisis the domestic violence has caused.  Finding safe,              
affordable housing is difficult for people in transition.                      
Regarding substance abuse treatment, MS. ANDREEN said CDVSA has                
coordinated with DHSS.  She has heard several times, as a council              
member, that women need residential substance abuse treatment                  
centers where they can bring their children.  She added that the               
batterers' intervention programs are set up so that staff initially            
screens participants for mental health and/or substance abuse                  
problems.  When present, treatment is incorporated into the                    
offender's contract.                                                           
CHAIRMAN WILKEN excused himself from the meeting due to a schedule             
conflict and handed the gavel to Vice-chair Leman.                             
Number 478                                                                     
VICE-CHAIR LEMAN encouraged participants to review a bill he                   
introduced that allows a person coming up for parole review to                 
determine the time for parole consideration as long as the change              
will not harm the victim.                                                      
TRISHA GENTLE, representing STAR in Anchorage, informed committee              
members that last year there were 316 adult sexual assault arrests             
and 317 child sexual assaults arrests, compared to 916 new victims             
that STAR served at its crisis center.  Ms. Gentle estimated about             
70 offenders were convicted.                                                   
SENATOR WARD asked Ms. Gentle to find out how many of those                    
convictions resulted in court ordered treatment.                               
MS. GENTLE asked committee members to extend the life of CDVSA.  In            
her work with national groups, she has been very proud that Alaska             
is far ahead of many states regarding domestic violence issues.                
Many states have no structure or plans to attack the problem.                  
CDVSA provides a structure that enables very effective use of the              
money that comes into the state.                                               
Number 446                                                                     
JAN MacCLARENCE, representing Abused Womens' Aid in Crisis (AWAC)              
in Anchorage, testified in support of SB 237.  AWAC is the largest             
and oldest domestic violence program in Alaska and operates with a             
waiting list about 70 percent of the time between Thanksgiving and             
March.  CDVSA has overseen AWAC since the council was created and              
it has provided support and technical assistance in a variety of               
areas.  CDVSA ensures that programs meet certain standards in the              
services they provide to victims to ensure the services are                    
effective in breaking the cycle of violence.                                   
VICE-CHAIR LEMAN asked how Senator Parnell's legislation regarding             
batterer treatment programs will help AWAC in the services it                  
MS. MacCLARENCE stated AWAC has been running the male awareness                
program, the largest batterers' intervention program in Alaska, for            
seven years.  The court system in Anchorage has been ordering                  
batterers to non-standard programs that give the illusion that the             
perpetrator is involved in something that will make a difference               
and gets the perpetrator on the good side of the law, but many of              
these programs are absolutely ineffective.  One program holds                  
sessions for two weekends, amounting to 32 hours, and primarily                
provides information.  Ms. MacClarence said listening to a                     
presentation with information does not equate to a behavior change.            
To make a behavior change requires a process of obtaining                      
information, trying out the new behavior, obtaining more                       
information, and revising the behavior change, a process that takes            
time.  It would be helpful if the courts order offenders only to               
programs that meet standards.                                                  
SENATOR WARD asked whether measurable results are available for                
either program.                                                                
MS. MacCLARENCE remarked good research that documents results is               
not available.  She said 85 percent of the people who complete the             
longer treatment program are not reordered to it.  She noted that              
no system to track offenders exists, so it is unknown whether some             
do not return because they left the state.                                     
SENATOR WARD asked whether Ms. MacClarence knows what percentage of            
offenders attending the shorter program return.                                
MS. MacCLARENCE did not know.                                                  
Number 385                                                                     
LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director of the Alaska Network on                    
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA), provided the                    
following history on the discussion of domestic violence and sexual            
assault.  For most of recorded western history the discussion                  
centered around men's property rights.  The word "rape" comes from             
the Latin word "ripare" which means to steal, seize, or carry away.            
Men accessed law enforcement, the courts, and the legislature to               
keep their property from losing value, or to seek restitution for              
property that had been damaged.  In Alaska, up until the early '80s            
when Senator Halford shepherded a bill through the Legislature,                
marital rape was not recognized as a criminal act.  A common                   
everyday expression for the accepted way of doing things is to say             
something is done as a rule of thumb.  That expression originated              
in English common law and meant that men could beat their wives as             
long as the rod they used was no bigger around than their thumb.               
This concept was brought to the United States and incorporated into            
many states' laws.  Not until after World War I had all states                 
removed this concept from their statutes.  The history is important            
in understanding that violence against women has been                          
institutionalized and accepted in this country for more years than             
not.  It is a systemic problem that requires a systemic response.              
Today the crime of domestic violence is a crime against a person,              
not property, and women can seek relief through the justice system             
on their own behalf.  The nation's response to domestic violence               
and sexual assault has changed. ANDVSA appreciates the                         
Legislature's commitment to end domestic violence and sexual                   
assault.  ANDVSA supports the extension of CDVSA and asks the                  
committee to support it as well.                                               
Number 352                                                                     
CAREN ROBINSON, representing the Alaska Womens' Lobby, testified in            
support of SB 237.  MS. ROBINSON stated she testified on this bill             
17 years ago and is glad to see CDVSA is actually working and has              
become such an important part of our state system.  She stressed               
how unique and important this council has been.  CDVSA has looked              
at the needs of the entire state from its inception.  CDVSA was                
placed within the Department of Public Safety which showed the                 
nation that this problem was not something that was just a family              
matter, but rather it is a crime.  CDVSA established regional                  
shelters and brought all related programs under one roof.  Across              
the nation, domestic violence programs are fighting with sexual                
assault programs for dollars.  By bringing all related programs                
under one roof, CDVSA was able to make discoveries related to this             
issue and to start making changes early.  The council has                      
representatives from all of the departments with some involvement              
in this issue.  Prior to its creation, the shelter programs would              
meet and try to figure out how to fund the programs and which                  
programs needed funding the most.  She commended former                        
Commissioner Nix, Lt. Governor Terry Miller, Karen Perdue, and                 
Governor Jay Hammond for the amount of time they invested to make              
this council work.  CDVSA is a model council if one looks at the               
amount of work it accomplishes compared to the limited number of               
staff it has.                                                                  
Number 280                                                                     
CYNTHIA COOPER, Vice Chair of CDVSA, and Deputy Attorney General               
for the Criminal Division of the Department of Law, urged                      
committee members to extend the council's life.  The council's key             
word is coordination; it works with numerous state and federal                 
agencies, local organizations and service providers.  CDVSA's                  
counterparts in the lower 48 are fighting over which programs will             
get money, and a duplication of efforts is occurring.  Other states            
have been looking to CDVSA as a model for legislation and its                  
projects and programs.  Alaska was chosen as one of four                       
participants in the STOP project, a project designed to put                    
innovative solutions to combatting domestic violence and sexual                
assault, on the internet.  The existence of CDVSA has enabled                  
Alaska to have a broader vision of how to deal with these problems             
and to coordinate data collection.  It is important CDVSA continue             
its mission into the next century to complete its mission.                     
SENATOR WARD questioned how many cases of domestic violence or                 
sexual assault are alcohol or drug related.                                    
MS. COOPER replied she could not provide an accurate number but                
believes alcohol and substance abuse play a great part in domestic             
violence and sexual assault.                                                   
SENATOR WARD said he wants to know how many legal drugs are                    
involved in these cases.                                                       
MS. COOPER responded that without going through individual files,              
there is no way to get that information.  She said she could                   
determine the number of cases in which alcohol and/or substance                
abuse treatment was ordered.                                                   
SENATOR WARD indicated he participated in separating the Department            
of Corrections from the Department of Health and Social Services 13            
years ago and he has been trying to get that information ever                  
since.  He expressed concern that some of the offenders were                   
victims of abuse themselves and repeated the behavior. He                      
questioned why determining the prevalence of alcohol abuse in this             
crime is so difficult.                                                         
MS. COOPER said the Department of Law's computer system was                    
designed in 1982 and is quite antiquated now.  The department                  
currently has an RFP out to revise and update its system to capture            
a lot more data.                                                               
Number 193                                                                     
VICE-CHAIR LEMAN maintained that information should be part of                 
CDVSA's database from this time forward. He announced the committee            
will hold SB 237 until Monday to review whether any other aspects              
of the batterers' programs can be incorporated into it.                        
       SB 252 - PATERNITY/CHILD SUPPORT/NONSUPPORT CRIMES                      
SENATOR WARD informed committee members the State of Idaho has                 
voted down three separate bills dealing with the mandatory federal             
requirements of the welfare reform act. Each time a bill was voted             
down, the Legislature would coordinate negotiations with the                   
federal government.  A fourth bill is being introduced today before            
the Idaho Legislature.  He asked that committee members get a copy             
of that bill and information about the negotiations so that they               
can learn exactly what the federal government is requiring.                    
VICE-CHAIR LEMAN asked staff to obtain that information.  He noted             
SB 252 is tentatively scheduled next Monday.                                   
There being no further business to come before the committee, VICE-            
CHAIR LEMAN adjourned the meeting at 10:32 a.m.                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects