Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/27/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:32:49 PM Start
01:33:08 PM Overview of Alaska Criminal Justice Commission - Criminal Justice Data
03:06:01 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Alaska Criminal Justice Commission - Criminal
Justice Data by Susanne DiPietro, Executive
Director, Alaska Judicial Council
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 27, 2019                                                                                        
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Lora Reinbold, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Mike Shower                                                                                                             
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: Alaska Criminal Justice Commission - Criminal                                                                     
Justice Data                                                                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MS. SUZANNE DIPIETRO, Executive Director                                                                                        
Alaska Judicial Council                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented an overview of the Alaska Criminal                                                              
Justice Commission - Criminal Justice Data.                                                                                     
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHELLEY  HUGHES  called   the  Senate  Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:32  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Kiehl, Micciche, Shower,  Reinbold and Chair                                                               
^Overview  of  Alaska  Criminal  Justice  Commission  -  Criminal                                                               
Justice Data                                                                                                                    
   Overview of Alaska Criminal Justice Commission - Criminal                                                                
                          Justice Data                                                                                      
1:33:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
an  overview of  Alaska  Criminal Justice  Commission -  Criminal                                                               
Justice Data.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HUGHES made opening remarks.                                                                                              
1:34:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SUZANNE  DIPIETRO, Executive  Director, Alaska  Judicial Council,                                                               
Anchorage, explained  that the Alaska  Judicial Council  (AJC) by                                                               
statute   provides  staff   for  the   Alaska  Criminal   Justice                                                               
Commission (ACJC),  so she  would be testifying  as staff  to the                                                               
1:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO began the PowerPoint  on the Alaska Criminal Justice                                                               
Commission  -  Criminal  Justice  Data.  She  reviewed  slide  2,                                                               
"Information Collected and Analyzed by ACJC, AS 44.19.647."                                                                     
        • Information about sex offense cases                                                                                   
        • Trends for supervision violators                                                                                      
        • Crime trends                                                                                                          
        • Trends in pretrial outcomes                                                                                           
1:35:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide 3,  "Sex  Offenses  Victimization,                                                               
Reporting to Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Conviction & Beyond."                                                                
She described the process used  for processing sex offenses, such                                                               
that   law  enforcement   would  refer   cases  to   prosecution,                                                               
prosecutors would  file charges,  the courts would  determine the                                                               
guilt  or  innocence  and  sentencing,   and  the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections would supervise sex offenders on parole.                                                                            
1:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide 4,  "Forthcoming  Alaska  Criminal                                                               
Justice Commission  Report to  the Legislature  AS 44.19.645(4)."                                                               
She  stated that  the Alaska  Criminal Justice  Commission (ACJC)                                                               
just  completed  its report  on  sex  offenses. This  effort  was                                                               
commissioned by  the legislature and  the ACJC would  present its                                                               
findings next week.  Most of the information  she would summarize                                                               
today was derived from the report, she said.                                                                                    
1:36:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide  5,  "Sex  Offenses  Report,  Data                                                               
        • Exact figures on victimization are impossible,                                                                        
          but victimization surveys indicate that sexual                                                                        
          violence is pervasive in Alaska                                                                                       
        • No one study has followed all sex offenses in                                                                         
          Alaska from report through to disposition                                                                             
        • Existing data indicate that many people who                                                                           
          commit sex offenses are not reported, arrested,                                                                       
          or prosecuted                                                                                                         
        • Many reasons for this, including societal                                                                             
          pressure not to report and standard of proof                                                                          
          required for criminal cases                                                                                           
She  said  that   it  is  often  difficult   to  obtain  accurate                                                               
information on  the level  of victimization  in the  state, which                                                               
the committee  discussed at a  previous hearing. In terms  of sex                                                               
offenses,  the state  has never  had  a study  that followed  sex                                                               
offenses from  victimization through the  reporting, prosecution,                                                               
and  conviction  process.  She  offered  to  piece  together  the                                                               
information on  each stage of the  process to provide a  sense of                                                               
the order of magnitude and  how sex offense cases move throughout                                                               
the system.  Many victims  do not  report victimization,  so many                                                               
people who commit  sex offenses are never  arrested or prosecuted                                                               
for  a  number of  reasons  including  societal pressure  not  to                                                               
report  and the  high  standard of  proof  required for  criminal                                                               
1:37:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  reviewed slide 6,  "Sex Offenses  Case Processing."                                                               
She reviewed the  slide consisting of a  schematic that described                                                               
how  sex offense  cases  are  processed in  Alaska.  She said  an                                                               
incident occurs  and if  it is reported  to law  enforcement, law                                                               
enforcement would investigate. If  enough evidence exists to move                                                               
forward,  the  case  would be  referred  for  prosecution.  After                                                               
evaluating the strength of the  case, the prosecutor would decide                                                               
whether to  move forward, and  if so,  charges are filed.  In the                                                               
court process,  the defendant would either  be acquitted, charges                                                               
would  be  dismissed,  or  the person  would  be  convicted.  The                                                               
defendant might be convicted of  charges not originally filed. If                                                               
convicted, the defendant  would be sentenced and  referred to the                                                               
Department  of Corrections.  After the  defendant has  served the                                                               
sentence, the  sex offender would  be supervised on  probation or                                                               
1:39:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER asked whether data  was available on the number of                                                               
cases prosecuted or not prosecuted.                                                                                             
MS. DIPIETRO said she would cover that during the presentation.                                                                 
1:39:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide  7,  "Estimates  of  Incidents  of                                                               
"Sexual Violence."                                                                                                              
     2015 Alaska Victimization Survey                                                                                           
     ? 2.9% of the women surveyed said they had experienced                                                                     
     sexual violence within the previous year;                                                                                  
     ? Using Department of Labor population estimates, 2.9%                                                                     
        of adult women in Alaska equates to about 7,136                                                                         
     individuals in 2015;                                                                                                       
     ? Reported experiences may not be crimes;                                                                                  
     ? Some populations excluded from survey.                                                                                   
She explained  that the Council  on Domestic Violence  and Sexual                                                               
Assault   has  twice   conducted   a   victimization  survey   in                                                               
partnership with  the University  of Alaska Justice  Center. This                                                               
survey did not  ask victims whether a statute  had been violated.                                                               
Instead, the  survey asked victims  about "sexual  violence." For                                                               
example, a  question would ask  whether a person  through threats                                                               
or  force made  the victim  have  sex against  his/her will.  She                                                               
stated that  the surveys  were conducted  by telephone  so people                                                               
without phones were not surveyed,  which would skew the data. She                                                               
reviewed  the  data,  noting  that   2.9  percent  of  the  women                                                               
responded that  they had experienced  sexual violence  within the                                                               
previous year. Although the process  to extrapolate the number of                                                               
victims was not  done using the most rigorous  analysis, it helps                                                               
to give a  sense of the magnitude of victims.  She noted that the                                                               
victims surveyed were all women.                                                                                                
1:41:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO reviewed slide 8, "Reports to Law Enforcement."                                                                    
     Victim responses to sexual violence are varied:                                                                            
     ? Some victims disclose to someone else;                                                                                   
     ? Some victims do not disclose to anyone;                                                                                  
      ? The closer the relationship between the victim and                                                                      
      the attacker, the less likely the victim will report                                                                      
     to police;                                                                                                                 
     ? In 2017, 1,475 felony sex offenses were reported to                                                                      
     Alaska law enforcement.                                                                                                    
She  said  that many  people  do  not necessarily  report  sexual                                                               
offenses to law enforcement.                                                                                                    
1:42:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  related  his understanding  that  the  figures                                                               
spanned  a  year,  but  over  ten  years  the  figure  would  not                                                               
correlate to  29 percent. He  asked whether that factor  was part                                                               
of the data set.                                                                                                                
MS. DIPIETRO  answered that  the survey  was conducted  twice. It                                                               
contained some  lifetime questions.  Some respondents  were asked                                                               
if they had  ever experienced sexual violence  in their lifetime.                                                               
She said the survey responses  were posted online and the figures                                                               
were much  higher although she  did not recall them.  She offered                                                               
to report  back to the  committee. She  said that in  2017, 1,475                                                               
felony sex offenses were reported.                                                                                              
1:43:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide  9,  "Disposition  of  Reports  to                                                               
Troopers." She directed  attention to the pie chart  on the slide                                                               
that illustrated the  disposition of reports to  the Alaska State                                                               
Troopers  from 2008-2011.  She  noted that  it  does not  include                                                               
municipal law  enforcement. First,  37 percent  of the  cases did                                                               
not  result  in  an  arrest  or referral.  Some  were  closed  as                                                               
unfounded and  others were closed  by investigation,  which meant                                                               
that law enforcement  did not find enough evidence  to arrest the                                                               
perpetrator.  She  stated  that  38 percent  of  the  cases  were                                                               
referred and  accepted for  prosecution. Approximately  6 percent                                                               
of cases  were referred  and declined  for prosecution.  She said                                                               
that  19  percent  of  cases  led to  an  immediate  arrest.  She                                                               
acknowledged  that  a  substantial   number  of  cases  were  not                                                               
1:45:35 PM                                                                                                                    
1:46:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
1:46:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  asked  whether   the  figures  were  similar  for                                                               
municipal law enforcement offices.                                                                                              
MS. DIPIETRO  answered that she did  not have that data,  but she                                                               
thought  it  would be  possible  to  obtain it,  particularly  in                                                               
working with the Anchorage Police Department.                                                                                   
SENATOR  KIEHL said  he  thought the  information  would be  very                                                               
1:47:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES asked whether there was  any sense of the figures if                                                               
men and  boys were included.  She related her  understanding that                                                               
about 10 percent of the victims are male.                                                                                       
MS.  DIPIETRO said  she was  unsure,  but she  recalled that  Ms.                                                               
Monfreda covered it during a previous committee meeting.                                                                        
CHAIR HUGHES  indicated that the  figures would increase  if male                                                               
victims were included.                                                                                                          
1:48:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO reviewed  slide 10, "Outcomes of Arrests  by All Law                                                               
Enforcement Agencies Combined."                                                                                                 
        • Sex offense arrests by all law enforcement                                                                            
          agencies in Alaska, 2008-2011                                                                                         
        • 1,460 arrests                                                                                                         
        • 97.1% of these arrests led to prosecution.                                                                            
She  said that  1,460 arrests  were made  by all  law enforcement                                                               
agencies.  When the  response  begins with  an  arrest, it  often                                                               
leads to prosecution.  She said the percentage  of those arrested                                                               
who were prosecuted was quite high.                                                                                             
1:49:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide   11,  "Prosecution:  Charging  to                                                               
Disposition." This bar  chart depicted the number  of court cases                                                               
disposed  in 2017.  The most  serious initial  charge was  sexual                                                               
abuse  of  a  minor  in  the first  degree.  She  reiterated  the                                                               
process, that the prosecutors screen  cases for probable cause to                                                               
move forward. She  described the court process  as an adversarial                                                               
process  that  could be  resolved  by  a  trial, but  most  often                                                               
through  a plea  agreement.  She provided  examples  for all  the                                                               
cases completed  in 2017, including  those with charges  filed in                                                               
prior years.  Almost all cases  with an initial charge  of first-                                                               
degree sexual abuse  of a minor resulted in a  conviction of some                                                               
charge. She pointed out that  5.3 percent of cases were dismissed                                                               
or acquitted, but  only 23 percent were convicted  of the initial                                                               
charge. She directed attention to  the bar charts that showed the                                                               
remainder were convicted of lesser charges.                                                                                     
1:51:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked whether an acquittal  rate of one in 20 meant                                                               
not enough cases were being charged.                                                                                            
MS. DIPIETRO  deferred to  the Department of  Law. She  said that                                                               
another slide compares  the acquittal and dismissal  rate for sex                                                               
felonies to other types of  felonies. She said that the dismissal                                                               
rate for sex felonies was a bit higher than for other felonies.                                                                 
1:52:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  asked whether 52  percent of the cases  closed in                                                               
2017 that were  initially charged with first  degree sexual abuse                                                               
of a minor were ones in which  the defendant pled down via a plea                                                               
agreement. He  offered his  belief that it  seemed like  a pretty                                                               
high rate.                                                                                                                      
MS. DIPIETRO answered that it could  be a plea agreement or if it                                                               
went to trial, the jury may  have found the defendant guilty of a                                                               
lesser  charge. She  said the  report will  reflect a  variety of                                                               
other charges.                                                                                                                  
MS. DIPIETRO  reviewed the bar  chart on slide  12, "Prosecution:                                                               
Charging  to  Disposition, Court  Cases  Disposed  in 2017:  Most                                                               
Serious  Initial  Charge  was 1st  Degree  Sexual  Assault."  She                                                               
pointed  out that  11.3 percent  were convicted  of the  original                                                               
charge. The  remainder of  the slide showed  24.2 percent  of the                                                               
cases were  dismissed or acquitted,  12.9 percent  were convicted                                                               
of  misdemeanor offenses,  41.9 percent  were convicted  of other                                                               
felony offenses,  8.0 percent  were convicted  of class  B sexual                                                               
assault in  the second degree  and 1.6 percent were  convicted of                                                               
class A attempted sexual assault in the first degree.                                                                           
1:54:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO reviewed slide 12,  "Case Resolutions for Felony Sex                                                               
Offenses Compared  to Felony Assaults."  She said that  ties into                                                               
Senator Kiehl's  earlier question,  which was  one shared  by the                                                               
commission.   This  pie   charts  shows   the  differences.   The                                                               
acquittals in felony assault cases  in 2017 were smaller than the                                                               
ones for  felony sex  offense cases.  However, the  conviction on                                                               
any charge was roughly comparable, she said.                                                                                    
1:54:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL asked  how Alaska's  statistics compared  to other                                                               
MS.  DIPIETRO offered  to  research  it and  report  back to  the                                                               
1:55:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO reviewed slide 13, "After Conviction."                                                                             
      Virtually all defendants convicted of a sex offense                                                                       
     receive a sentence of incarceration;                                                                                       
     Once released from prison, sex offenders are monitored                                                                     
     closely by probation officers (containment model) for                                                                      
     extended periods of time;                                                                                                  
        Sex offenders are less likely than other felony                                                                         
      offenders to be convicted of a new crime after being                                                                      
     released from prison;                                                                                                      
      Sex offenders are infrequently convicted of new sex                                                                       
     offenses after being released from prison.                                                                                 
She said the only reason  defendants would not receive a sentence                                                               
of incarceration  would be if the  person spent a lot  of time in                                                               
pretrial detention. She said that  offenders released from prison                                                               
are  felons.  She  said  the Department  of  Corrections  uses  a                                                               
containment model, which involves  close supervision. She said it                                                               
was  encouraging   to  learn  that  offenders   are  infrequently                                                               
convicted of new sex offenses after being released from prison.                                                                 
1:56:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL   asked  for  her   sense  of  the   magnitude  of                                                               
MS.  DIPIETRO answered  that it  was  significantly less  likely,                                                               
although it  would depend  on how it  was counted.  She explained                                                               
that staff  was working to ensure  that the data being  used from                                                               
different sources would compare "apples  to apples." The ACJC was                                                               
also working to  ensure that the information  was consistent with                                                               
other studies. It was pretty  consistent with national statistics                                                               
and findings.  She reported that  based on 7-8 years  of studies,                                                               
approximately 1-3  percent of sex  offenders were convicted  of a                                                               
new sex offense.  She suggested that many of them  would still be                                                               
on probation.                                                                                                                   
1:58:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  asked  whether she  had  data  for  post-probation                                                               
MS. DIPIETRO  answered that the  probation period varies,  so she                                                               
did  not currently  have that  data point.  However, it  would be                                                               
helpful to have that statistic, she said.                                                                                       
1:58:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD said  that Senator Hughes found  that 63 percent                                                               
of  sexual  offenses were  unreported  nationwide.  She said  she                                                               
wanted to be certain the  committee was aware that the statistics                                                               
were convictions not incidences of sexual assault.                                                                              
MS. DIPIETRO agreed.  She said that she was  providing small bits                                                               
of  the data,  but the  report breaks  it down  by rearrests  and                                                               
returns to prison for probation violations.                                                                                     
1:59:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES recalled  that 7,000  sexual assaults  occurred per                                                               
year,  with  1,300  reported, but  100-200  were  convicted.  She                                                               
expressed an  interest in  what policy makers  could do  and what                                                               
tools law  enforcement, prosecutors, and judges  needed to change                                                               
the conviction rate.                                                                                                            
MS.  DIPIETRO agreed  that 220  people  were convicted  of a  sex                                                               
offense in 2017.                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES asked for further  information on the flowchart of                                                               
cases processed [as shown on slide 6].                                                                                          
2:00:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER  referred  to  page   7.  He  asked  for  further                                                               
clarification  on the  populations  that were  excluded from  the                                                               
MS.  DIPIETRO answered  that victims  without a  phone, children,                                                               
and  men  were  not  surveyed. In  further  response  to  Senator                                                               
Shower,  she said  that children  were younger  than age  18. She                                                               
said that the commission would like to have better data.                                                                        
2:01:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD remarked  that the  mean  age for  rape was  15                                                               
years of  age. She expressed  concern that this group  of victims                                                               
was not captured.                                                                                                               
MS. DIPIETRO said the survey was  done by the Council on Domestic                                                               
Violence and Sexual Assault and  the University of Alaska Justice                                                               
Center. She said she didn't know  for sure, but she imagined that                                                               
it  might be  harmful to  survey minors  about their  experiences                                                               
with sexual victimization.                                                                                                      
SENATOR REINBOLD said it was  appropriate to get the information.                                                               
She said the committee just  received the Uniform Crime Statistic                                                               
Data and that age was being targeted.                                                                                           
CHAIR  HUGHES  pointed  out  that privacy  issues  also  must  be                                                               
considered. She said that it might  mean figuring out how a small                                                               
sampling could be done with parental permission.                                                                                
2:03:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO reviewed  slide 15,  "Trends  in Criminal  Justice,                                                               
Probation and Parole." She provided  an overview of the probation                                                               
and parole process. She said  that probation and parole typically                                                               
was for  the period at the  end of the process.  The offender has                                                               
typically been incarcerated. During  this period those defendants                                                               
convicted  of   felonies  would   be  supervised  to   help  them                                                               
reintegrate into society and to  rehabilitate them. The judge who                                                               
presided  over  the  person's sentencing  would  issue  an  order                                                               
outlining  the conditions  of probation.  These conditions  would                                                               
outline  rules and  tasks that  the  probationer must  accomplish                                                               
while on  probation. The judge  would be careful to  order things                                                               
that  would   help  rehabilitate  the  offender.   The  probation                                                               
officers  would  provide  tools   to  encourage  and  incentivize                                                               
probationers  to  complete the  tasks  that  will lead  to  their                                                               
rehabilitation.  The  probation   officers  could  also  formally                                                               
sanction  probations via  a petition  to revoke  to the  court if                                                               
they engage in illegal activities or antisocial behaviors.                                                                      
2:05:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO, reviewed slide 16,  "Probation and Parole." The bar                                                               
graphs on  the slide showed  the probation and  parole discharges                                                               
since  the  new  administrative  sanctions  and  incentives  were                                                               
implemented. She  reported a slight  dip in  successful probation                                                               
and parole discharges  in FY 2015 - 2016  followed by substantial                                                               
increases in FY 2017 - 2018.                                                                                                    
2:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO reviewed  slide  17,  "Supervision Violators."  She                                                               
explained that  the current system  was an  evidence-based system                                                               
that relies on  the theory that swift,  certain, and proportional                                                               
sanctions would  be more  effective at  controlling probationers'                                                               
behavior   than   delayed,    uncertain,   and   disproportionate                                                               
sanctions.  She explained  that the  department has  caps on  the                                                               
first three technical violations.  The violator would be arrested                                                               
immediately, serve his/her time, and  be released again. She said                                                               
this chart indicates the number  of people who have been admitted                                                               
to  the  Department  of  Corrections  on  a  Petition  to  Revoke                                                               
Probation  (PTRP). The  slide indicates  that  1,426 PTRP's  were                                                               
issued between  January 1, 2017  and December 31, 2018,  that 630                                                               
were issued for second violations,  and 366 for third violations.                                                               
The number  of PTRPs drops off  for the fourth, fifth,  and sixth                                                               
violations, she  said. This slide illustrated  the principle that                                                               
swift,  certain,  and  proportional  sanctions  result  in  fewer                                                               
probationary  violations.  Prior  to  implementing  this  system,                                                               
sanctioning  was  inconsistent  throughout  the  state.  The  new                                                               
regime provided  more continuity and  certainty in the  system so                                                               
that  probationers   understand  that  consequences   follow  any                                                               
2:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL asked  whether the  previous system  had different                                                               
punishments for the same crimes.                                                                                                
MS.   DIPIETRO  answered   that  the   Alaska  Criminal   Justice                                                               
Commission (ACJC)  found that some  of the weaknesses in  the old                                                               
system   were   that    probation   officers   were   sanctioning                                                               
inconsistently  throughout the  state for  similar behavior.  For                                                               
example,  a missed  appointment  or drug  test  failure might  be                                                               
handled   differently  by   individual  probation   officers  for                                                               
probationers. One of the theories  was that the punishment should                                                               
be   certain.  Everyone   should  know   the  rules,   she  said.                                                               
Probationers  should  know  the  consequences  for  inappropriate                                                               
She  explained  that  previously supervision  violators  used  22                                                               
percent of prison beds on  any given day. Probation officers were                                                               
spending 109  days to adjudicate  a Petition to  Revoke Probation                                                               
(PTRP) written  primarily for technical violations.  She said the                                                               
current goal was to sanction  violators, connect their actions to                                                               
consequences,  and get  them in  and out  of the  system quickly.                                                               
This will avoid clogging up the system, she said.                                                                               
2:10:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked about swiftness,  and for a comparison of the                                                               
administrative actions to the old system.                                                                                       
MS.  DIPIETRO  answered  that the  administrative  sanctions  and                                                               
incentive  system   includes  incentives.  Probationers   can  be                                                               
rewarded for  pro-social activities such as  completing treatment                                                               
and   paying  restitution.   The  administrative   sanctions  and                                                               
incentives put  in place  by criminal  justice system  reform [in                                                               
Senate  Bill  91  law]  were   not  the  kind  of  sanctions  and                                                               
incentives  that send  probationers back  to jail.  Instead, they                                                               
are administrative  tools that the probation  and parole officers                                                               
can  use to  encourage pro-social  behavior and  discourage anti-                                                               
social behavior  without actually  sending the offenders  back to                                                               
jail. The officers can use those  options or file a PTRP with the                                                               
court.  That mechanism  means the  probationer would  be arrested                                                               
and remanded  to prison for  three, five, or ten  days, depending                                                               
on whether it was the first, second, or third violation.                                                                        
2:12:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD asked for further  clarification on the caps for                                                               
swift punishment and if it was one, three, or five days.                                                                        
MS. DIPIETRO  answered that  caps are  not used  for probationers                                                               
who break a  substantive rule or commit a new  crime. Caps are in                                                               
place for  those probationers who  commit a  technical violation,                                                               
such as  missing an  appointment, or having  drugs or  alcohol in                                                               
their system. She said it is  not illegal to miss an appointment,                                                               
but they broke the rules and  need to be sanctioned. She outlined                                                               
the caps  for technical  violations at three,  five, and  10 days                                                               
for  the first,  second, and  third violations.  After the  third                                                               
violation, the judge could impose  any sanction that he/she found                                                               
2:13:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD said  the Department of Law  reported that these                                                               
sanctions were not working. She  said that if offenders were told                                                               
to  avoid chemicals,  but they  do not  avoid them,  it could  be                                                               
She advised members  she reviewed the average age  for victims of                                                               
sexual assault in  various parts of the state. She  said that the                                                               
average age of victims in Western  Alaska was 13, in Anchorage it                                                               
was 12, and in Southeast Alaska it  was 15 years of age. She said                                                               
that  overall about  half of  the victims  are children,  but the                                                               
median age was  18 years old. She said the  record should reflect                                                               
that the Uniform Crime Statistics  have shown a dramatic increase                                                               
of crimes  since 2014  when Senate Bill  64 created  the Criminal                                                               
Justice Commission.  She characterized the increase  as a rampant                                                               
epidemic  of  crime in  Alaska.  She  said the  commission  could                                                               
massage the data,  but she would be looking to  the Uniform Crime                                                               
Statistics since those figures relate to real offenses.                                                                         
MS. DIPIETRO agreed  it would be helpful to  have a victimization                                                               
survey of  underage victims. She  suggested that she  could speak                                                               
with  Senator Reinbold  about other  information  she might  find                                                               
more helpful than the data she was providing today.                                                                             
SENATOR REINBOLD  said that  the Department  of Law  has provided                                                               
her with sufficient data.                                                                                                       
2:16:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  reviewed slide 18, "Supervision  Violators, Average                                                               
Length  of Stay  for Probation/Parole  Violations, Sentenced  and                                                               
Unsentenced,   in  Days."   She  reviewed   the  bar   charts  of                                                               
supervision  violators who  were  not  successful. She  explained                                                               
that the  length of stay  was going down,  but this did  not mean                                                               
that violators  were not being  sanctioned. It simply  meant that                                                               
violators  were being  sanctioned with  shorter amounts  of time.                                                               
Prior to  implementing the new  system, a number of  Petitions to                                                               
Revoke Probation  (PTRP) would be  stacked up and  be adjudicated                                                               
all at once. This  meant a violator would go back  to jail for an                                                               
average of 109  days, just long enough  to completely destabilize                                                               
the  violator   by  taking  him/her  away   from  any  pro-social                                                               
activities the  person managed  to accomplish.  However, evidence                                                               
did not support any benefits derived  compared to the cost of the                                                               
longer incarceration stays.                                                                                                     
One interesting  point was that  successful probation  and parole                                                               
discharges were  increasing, which meant that  low-risk offenders                                                               
were succeeding  and being discharged. The  result of discharging                                                               
low-risk  offenders reduced  the caseload  and allowed  probation                                                               
officers to focus  on medium and high-risk  probationers who need                                                               
more supervision. She reiterated  that sanctions should be swift,                                                               
certain, and proportional, but not  necessarily lengthy. She said                                                               
that the trends were encouraging.                                                                                               
2:18:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.   DIPIETRO  reviewed   slide   19,  "Supervision   Violators,                                                               
Admissions to  DOC for Probation  Violations Jan. 1, 2017    Dec.                                                               
10, 2018,"  to a chart  that showed the average  incarceration in                                                               
days for petitions to revoke  probation. Graduated sanctions were                                                               
instituted to  change behaviors by increasing  sanctions for each                                                               
repeat  violation,  she  said.   She  said  that  sanctions  were                                                               
stepping up,  which was exactly  what the commission  hoped would                                                               
2:19:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  related his understanding that  the first petition                                                               
was  for  three  days.  However,  the  chart  showed  an  average                                                               
incarceration of 16 days for 1 PTRP.                                                                                            
MS. DIPIETRO answered that the  chart included all PTRPs, some of                                                               
which were  non-technical violations that were  subject to longer                                                               
2:19:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed  slide   20,  "Supervision  Violators  in                                                               
Prison."  The  results of  the  new  system using  sanctions  and                                                               
incentives along with informal and  formal methods of controlling                                                               
behavior were reflected  in the two pie charts on  the slide. The                                                               
number of  beds taken up  by supervision violators  were reduced.                                                               
Before  new procedures  went into  effect, supervision  violators                                                               
represented 20 percent in FY 2015  as opposed to 14 percent in FY                                                               
2:20:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL  asked  whether   she  could  provide  figures  in                                                               
addition to the percentages shown on the pie charts.                                                                            
MS. DIPIETRO  recalled that  the total number  of inmates  in the                                                               
Department  of  Corrections  system  was  approximately  4,800  -                                                               
4,900.  In FY  2018,  it  was approximately  4,600  - 4,700.  She                                                               
offered to provide the exact figures.                                                                                           
CHAIR HUGHES  clarified that  reducing the  supervision violators                                                               
did  not mean  that more  people were  incarcerated. She  did not                                                               
want the  public to think  that more convicted criminals  were in                                                               
MS. DIPIETRO  agreed that these  were percentages and  not actual                                                               
figures. She offered to provide actual numbers to the committee.                                                                
2:21:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO turned to the  Crime Trends portion of the overview.                                                               
She reviewed slide 22, "Long-Term  Crime Rate Trend, Alaska 1976-                                                               
2017 (Homicide,  Rape, Robbery, & Aggravated  Assault)." She said                                                               
that  Ms.   Monfreda,  Department  of  Public   Safety,  gave  an                                                               
excellent presentation to the committee  on the most recent crime                                                               
statistics.  Some questions  were  asked  about historical  crime                                                               
trends. This  line graph  depicts the  30-year trend  for violent                                                               
crimes  of  homicide,  rape,  robbery,  and  aggravated  assault,                                                               
adjusted for the  change in population to  allow for year-to-year                                                               
comparison. She  pointed out that  the line jumps around  quite a                                                               
bit. She said she was unsure of  what caused the dips in 1984 and                                                               
2014, but unfortunately  violent crime in Alaska  has been rising                                                               
for a number of decades.                                                                                                        
2:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE observed  that drive  by shootings,  possessing                                                               
explosives, arson, and other crimes  were not included. Those are                                                               
some of  the issues that  need to  be considered since  they also                                                               
constitute  violent  crimes,  but  it  was  not  how  Alaska  has                                                               
regarded them.                                                                                                                  
MS.  DIPIETRO characterized  her  presentation  as a  30,000-foot                                                               
view, one that examined the trends.                                                                                             
2:23:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  reviewed slide 23,  "Long-Term Property  Crime Rate                                                               
Trend,  Alaska 1976-  (Burglary, Larceny-Theft,  & Motor  Vehicle                                                               
Theft)." She  referred to  a line graph  that depicted  the long-                                                               
term crime  rate downward  trend with  spikes in  1980 and  a low                                                               
point in  property crime  in 2011. One  could speculate,  but the                                                               
interesting  takeaway  was  that  the  property  crime  rate  was                                                               
decreasing until  it began increasing  in 2015. She said  she did                                                               
not want to make any comments  on the recent crime statistics but                                                               
to consider the long view.                                                                                                      
2:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER  said that  the chart  did not  make any  sense to                                                               
him.   The  committee   recently  reviewed   the  Uniform   Crime                                                               
Statistics  and  he  recalled those  statistics  reported  17,000                                                               
crimes related to  burglary, theft, and motor  vehicle thefts. He                                                               
further recalled that the motor  vehicle thefts alone were 4,000.                                                               
However, this  chart indicated a  total of 3,539  property crimes                                                               
in 2017.                                                                                                                        
MS. DIPIETRO  answered that these  figures represented  rates and                                                               
not  absolute numbers.  This  would also  take  into account  the                                                               
changing population.  It would be  the number of  reported crimes                                                               
divided by the population. Otherwise  it would not be possible to                                                               
compare 1976 to 2017 since fewer people resided here.                                                                           
SENATOR  SHOWER commented  that  it seemed  misleading since  the                                                               
committee was aware of the crime happening in Alaska.                                                                           
MS.  DIPIETRO asked  whether  he  would like  to  see the  actual                                                               
numbers. She  said that she  hopes that  no one believes  she was                                                               
trying  to say  that the  2017 crime  statistic presented  by Ms.                                                               
Monfreda was inaccurate. She agreed that crime was increasing.                                                                  
SENATOR SHOWER said the trend appears to show it going down.                                                                    
2:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  reported that  there  were  62 murders,  1,073                                                               
reported rapes,  949 robberies, and  4,236 assaults,  139 arsons,                                                               
4,250 vehicle  thefts, 4,153  burglaries, 17,683  larceny thefts,                                                               
for a total of 26,225 violent crimes and 6,320 offenses.                                                                        
2:26:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  offered his belief that  the long-term property                                                               
crime trend was important to  evaluate. Obviously, there has been                                                               
a dramatic  increase [since 2015-2016],  but the rates  were much                                                               
higher in  the 1970s and 1980.  He noted the state  experienced a                                                               
recession  in the  late  1980s. However,  it  was imperative  the                                                               
committee  understand  the reasons  and  factors  for high  crime                                                               
rates, such as socio-economic ones  since the 1970s. He expressed                                                               
an interest in learning what  impacts caused the trends to change                                                               
besides changes to Alaska's criminal statutes.                                                                                  
2:27:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  reviewed slide  24, "Violent  Crime Rate  Trends by                                                               
Location." This slide  showed a line graph for  violent crimes in                                                               
Anchorage,  Juneau,  and  Fairbanks between  2003-2017  including                                                               
homicide, rape,  robbery, and aggravated  assault. She  said that                                                               
what  happens in  Anchorage  substantially  drives the  statewide                                                               
statistics since much of the  population resides in the area. She                                                               
expressed the wish that the  Kenai Peninsula figures were also on                                                               
the chart.                                                                                                                      
MS. DIPIETRO  reviewed slide 25,  "Property Crime Rate  Trends by                                                               
Location." This  slide showed  a line  graph for  property crimes                                                               
[including burglary,  larceny, theft, and motor  vehicle theft in                                                               
Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks  from 2003-2017. She stated that                                                               
the  commission considers  the statewide  view  but local  police                                                               
resources, policing strategies,  community cohesion and response,                                                               
and  social  problems  such  as   drugs  and  alcohol  vary  from                                                               
community to community and affect the trends.                                                                                   
2:29:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  turned to  the "Pretrial  Outcomes" portion  of the                                                               
overview,   including  bail,   supervised  release,   and  racial                                                               
disparities.  She said  that this  section would  cover the  time                                                               
period when defendants  are arrested or charged with  a crime and                                                               
what  happened  during the  timeframe  when  they are  considered                                                               
innocent, prior to case disposition or the "pretrial" period.                                                                   
2:30:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO reviewed slide 27, "Pretrial Outcomes - 2015."                                                                     
     2015 Alaska Pretrial Outcomes (findings from AJC court                                                                     
     file review)                                                                                                               
        • A 2015 study showed about half of all defendants                                                                      
          were detained pending disposition of their cases;                                                                     
        • Most defendants were given third party custodian                                                                      
          and/or money bond conditions                                                                                          
        • Alaska Natives were more likely than Caucasians                                                                       
          to be detained pretrial (about twice as likely).                                                                      
She said that the Alaska Judicial  Council (AJC) did a study with                                                               
the Alaska Criminal  Justice Commission in 2015.  They reviewed a                                                               
sample  of court  case  files  of people  who  were arrested  and                                                               
charged with  a crime. They  determined who was detained  and who                                                               
was released  on bail.  The Constitution of  the State  of Alaska                                                               
gives people  who are  charged the  right to  bail. The  AJC data                                                               
found that  people who  are detained  during the  pretrial period                                                               
had worse  outcomes and received  longer sentences. Only  half of                                                               
all  defendants were  detained during  the pretrial  phase, which                                                               
was  one reason  a number  of  beds in  prison were  taken up  by                                                               
pretrial detainees.                                                                                                             
MS. DIPIETRO said that Alaska  Natives were much more likely than                                                               
whites   to  be   detained  during   the  pretrial   period.  She                                                               
characterized that as  an extremely robust finding.  She said she                                                               
found it to be quite unfortunate  and shocking. The AJC took into                                                               
account  the type  of  charge, prior  criminal  history, and  any                                                               
other factors  that might  explain why  Alaska Natives  were more                                                               
likely than whites to be detained  pretrial. The AJC was not able                                                               
to  determine  any  legally  relevant  factors  to  explain  that                                                               
finding, she said.                                                                                                              
She said that most defendants  were given a third-party custodian                                                               
requirement and/or a money bond.                                                                                                
2:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO turned to slide  28, "Pretrial Outcomes - 2018." She                                                               
reviewed the  pie chart  that depicted  the number  of defendants                                                               
released before  their cases were  disposed. This study  does not                                                               
include bail  schedule releases, and  30 percent of  all pretrial                                                               
defendants in the 2018 sample were released on bail.                                                                            
She cautioned  members that the  Alaska Judicial Council  and the                                                               
Alaska Criminal Justice  Commission were still in  the process of                                                               
the study. Unfortunately, the changes  to the pretrial system and                                                               
bail system were  so recent that not all of  the people have made                                                               
it through  the process  to disposition.  She offered  to provide                                                               
some information, but  more time was needed to allow  cases to be                                                               
MS. DIPIETRO explained  the process. She said that  when a person                                                               
is arrested  the person  would be brought  to a  prison facility.                                                               
Some people  charged with misdemeanors  might be released  on the                                                               
court system's  bail schedule. Others  who were not  eligible for                                                               
release would  be booked into  the facility. They would  be given                                                               
an arraignment before a judge, typically within 24 hours.                                                                       
She said  that during  the arraignment  the judge  will determine                                                               
whether the person should be  released during the pretrial period                                                               
and what conditions  should be placed on them to  ensure that the                                                               
defendant would  appear for  the person's  court hearing  and not                                                               
commit another  offense while  on release.  The data  depicted on                                                               
the  pie  chart indicated  that  69  percent of  defendants  were                                                               
released on bail, and 31 percent were not released.                                                                             
2:35:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO reviewed slide 29, "Pretrial Outcomes."                                                                            
     Conditions of release                                                                                                      
   • Alcohol use/possession restrictions: 38%                                                                                   
   • Electronic monitoring: 24%                                                                                                 
   • Drug or alcohol monitoring or testing: 21%                                                                                 
   •  About half of all defendants (released and not) had                                                                       
     one or more of these conditions of release.                                                                                
     PED Supervision                                                                                                            
        • Judges ordered PED supervision for about half of                                                                      
          the people they arraigned.                                                                                            
        • About 78% of defendants who had a PED supervision                                                                     
          order were released before their cases were                                                                           
She reviewed the  findings of the study related  to conditions of                                                               
release shown on the slide. She  said that since January 2018 the                                                               
Department  of Corrections  Pretrial  Enforcement Division  (PED)                                                               
was  created.   She  said  that  these   officers  can  supervise                                                               
individuals who  were released  during the  pretrial supervision.                                                               
She  reviewed the  PED supervision  on the  slide. The  judge may                                                               
also have ordered conditions that  the person was unable to meet,                                                               
such as  a money bond,  so not all of  the defendants with  a PED                                                               
supervision order made it out.                                                                                                  
2:37:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DIPIETRO  reviewed the  bar  chart  on slide  30,  "Pretrial                                                               
Outcomes," depicting the rates of release by ethnicity for 2018.                                                                
She explained  that the release rate  was not as disparate  as it                                                               
once was. She  characterized this as a  very rudimentary analysis                                                               
lacking  a super  rigorous  investigation, but  on  its face,  it                                                               
appeared  as  though the  disparity  the  council had  documented                                                               
prior to the pretrial system reform were diminishing.                                                                           
2:38:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  listed the members  of the Alaska  Criminal Justice                                                               
Commission on slide 31.                                                                                                         
         MATT CLAMAN, EX OFFICIO, CHAIR ALASKA HOUSE OF                                                                         
       BRENDA K. STANFILL, VICE-CHAIR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,                                                                       
     INTERIOR ALASKA CENTER FOR NON-VIOLENT LIVING                                                                              
     JOEL BOLGER CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE ALASKA SUPREME COURT                                                                      
     SEAN CASE CAPTAIN, ANCHORAGE POLICE DEPARTMENT                                                                             
     ADAM CRUM, VALERIE DAVIDSON, EX OFFICIO COMMISSIONER,                                                                      
     ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                            
       KEVIN CLARKSON, JAHNA LINDEMUTH ATTORNEY GENERAL,                                                                        
     STATE OF ALASKA                                                                                                            
        AMANDA PRICE, WALT MONEGAN COMMISSIONER, ALASKA                                                                         
     DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                                                
         GREGORY P. RAZO, ALASKA NATIVE JUSTICE CENTER                                                                          
     DESIGNEE; VICE PRESIDENT, CIRI                                                                                             
       STEPHANIE RHOADES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE (RETIRED),                                                                        
     STATE OF ALASKA                                                                                                            
     QUINLAN G. STEINER, ALASKA PUBLIC DEFENDER                                                                                 
       TREVOR N. STEPHENS SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE, STATE OF                                                                        
      NANCY DAHLSTROM, DEAN WILLIAMS, COMMISSIONER, ALASKA                                                                      
     DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                                                  
         STEVE WILLIAMS COO, ALASKA MENTAL HEALTH TRUST                                                                         
      SHELLY HUGHES, JOHN COGHILL, EX OFFICIO ALASKA STATE                                                                      
2:39:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  said the greatest  impact on his  community was                                                               
from  defendants in  the pretrial  phase because  they reoffended                                                               
while out on bail. Aa a legislator,  he would like to know how to                                                               
make effective  changes, but this  overview does not  provide the                                                               
means to do  so. It talks about the percentage  of people who are                                                               
released or not released during  the pretrial period, but it does                                                               
not show the impacts to  law enforcement. However, he offered his                                                               
belief  that  it impacted  public  safety  fairly negatively.  He                                                               
asked  how many  defendants failed  to appear  for court  and how                                                               
many  violated  conditions of  release.  He  said he  needs  more                                                               
information and data  to help determine that answer.  Now she can                                                               
see why the  [legislature] has been feeling so  strongly that "we                                                               
took  the wrong  path." He  said  that the  increase in  property                                                               
crimes has not made him a big fan of this approach.                                                                             
MS. DIPIETRO said that those  types of questions were included in                                                               
the  study. She  questioned whether  she should  speak about  the                                                               
preliminary  findings today  since not  all the  cases have  been                                                               
resolved. She  said the  preliminary data  has been  discussed at                                                               
the  Criminal  Justice  Working   Group.  She  avoided  releasing                                                               
findings on failure to appear  rates or new criminal activity and                                                               
would need  to revise  it six  months later  when the  cases that                                                               
affect the rates were resolved.  However, she understood the need                                                               
for information  now. The preliminary results  showed the failure                                                               
to appear  rate has increased  a little. The new  criminal charge                                                               
rates were a  little lower than pre-Senate Bill 91  law. She said                                                               
the  data  seemed  inconsistent with  members'  experiences.  She                                                               
asked members to  keep in mind that prior to  the pretrial system                                                               
change, just 50 percent of  defendants were released and about 37                                                               
percent  of those  people had  a new  arrest during  the pretrial                                                               
period. The arrest rates could  be improved upon. The preliminary                                                               
findings, without data from people  still in the system show that                                                               
the  rate  has decreased.  Once  the  cases are  resolved,  those                                                               
figures could increase, but right now it was lower than 37.                                                                     
2:43:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE noted that she  just mentioned lower charges and                                                               
pointed out  that the legislature  was led to believe  that other                                                               
states  had  lower charges,  fewer  people  in prison,  and  more                                                               
people in  pretrial services.  At the time  changes were  made to                                                               
the  criminal  justice  system,  he  said  no  one  ever  made  a                                                               
correlation to  lower crime rates.  "And we  were sort of  led to                                                               
believe  that there  would be  lower crime  rates," he  said. The                                                               
lack of  reporting, decriminalizing  some crimes,  fewer arrests,                                                               
and frustrated  law enforcement could  have a  direct correlation                                                               
to  lower crime  rates rather  than actually  reducing crime.  He                                                               
said that there is a disconnect  from what was being reported and                                                               
what  actually  was  happening in  communities.  That  disconnect                                                               
needed to  be eliminated. He offered  his belief that the  he was                                                               
swayed by figures  from the Pew Charitable Trust  and others. The                                                               
same data points are being used  and it just misses the point, he                                                               
CHAIR HUGHES  offered her belief  that Senator Micciche  has made                                                               
an excellent point.  She asked whether the goal was  to have less                                                               
people incarcerated or less crime on the street.                                                                                
2:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER  echoed  Senator  Micciche's  comments  regarding                                                               
"disconnect"  between  data  and  the criminal  activity  in  the                                                               
communities. He  said he was  convinced that some of  the changes                                                               
such as  reducing sentencing  affect the  statistics but  has not                                                               
actually lowered  the crime rate. Instead,  crime rates increased                                                               
after enacting  the crime bills.  He offered to  hold discussions                                                               
with Ms. DiPietro on this issue.                                                                                                
2:46:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. DIPIETRO  responded that  the studies  and research  that the                                                               
Alaska Criminal Justice Commission  (ACJC) relied on were studies                                                               
to reduce  recidivism in the criminal  justice system. Certainly,                                                               
recidivism among people who had  committed crimes and were in the                                                               
system create  part of the crime  rate, but it was  not the whole                                                               
picture.  People  who  have been  through  the  criminal  justice                                                               
system do  not account for all  of the reported crime  in Alaska.                                                               
Other  people also  committed crimes  and  that was  part of  the                                                               
crime rate. Those two things cannot be equated.                                                                                 
She made the  distinction between recidivism among  people in the                                                               
system, who  were the ones  the criminal justice system  tried to                                                               
reform  and would  like a  better outcome  versus the  people who                                                               
committed crimes who  have not been part of the  system. She said                                                               
she did not  wish to argue against the point  being made, but she                                                               
thought  it was  important to  distinguish between  the different                                                               
types of criminal activity.                                                                                                     
CHAIR HUGHES said  that when the legislature changed  the laws by                                                               
downgrading crimes, it  skewed the data. Even  though some crimes                                                               
were no longer  being counted, crime rates have  increased, so if                                                               
those crimes  were being  counted, the crime  rate would  be even                                                               
2:48:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL suggested  that as  the legislature  considers the                                                               
correlations related to the crime  bills, it would be valuable to                                                               
see  similar  correlations  to   recent  statutory  changes  that                                                               
increased penalties for violent crimes  and its impact on violent                                                               
crimes,  and   whether  these  crime  rates   have  increased  or                                                               
decreased. He also expressed interest  in the correlation between                                                               
increased law  enforcement officers  and prosecutors, as  well as                                                               
the number  of cases not  prosecuted, on crime rates  and whether                                                               
that could provide a better explanation.                                                                                        
2:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD referred  to recidivism and ways  to affect [the                                                               
recidivism rates].  For example, under  Senate Bill 91  law first                                                               
time felony  convictions did  not result in  jail time,  so those                                                               
offenders  could  continue to  commit  crimes  in her  community,                                                               
which has  experienced dramatic increases in  crime. In addition,                                                               
dismissing cases also affects the overall statistics.                                                                           
She  said that  the people  in  her district  want reductions  in                                                               
offenses. In  response to  the high number  of Alaska  Natives in                                                               
the system, she pointed out  the racial profile of crimes against                                                               
victims  and reported  that 444  suspects were  Alaska Native,  9                                                               
Asian, 51  black, 75 unknown  and 111 Caucasian. She  honed-in on                                                               
the data that  showed a disproportionate number  of Alaska Native                                                               
suspects and a disproportionate  number of Alaska Native victims.                                                               
She offered her  belief that the number of  Alaska Native victims                                                               
has not been pointed out in  the presentations she has heard. She                                                               
said she was  more interested in reducing the  number of offenses                                                               
than  massaging   data  and  stopping   "bad  guys"   from  being                                                               
MS. DIPIETRO clarified  that she did not say  the absolute number                                                               
of  Alaska Natives  being held  in pretrial  was higher  than the                                                               
absolute number of  Caucasian offenders being held,  just that it                                                               
was  disproportionate. She  reassured Senator  Reinbold that  the                                                               
commission intended  to study the  recidivism of people  who were                                                               
charged   or  convicted,   whether   they  had   a  sentence   of                                                               
incarceration or not. She agreed  with Senator Reinbold's comment                                                               
that not  everyone who was  convicted was incarcerated.  She said                                                               
that it was important to pay attention to both.                                                                                 
2:52:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES said  she was intrigued that  Ms. DiPietro indicated                                                               
that there  seemed to be  no explanation  for the higher  rate of                                                               
Alaska  Natives, but  with the  change in  criminal statutes  the                                                               
data  seemed  to be  more  balanced.  She expressed  interest  in                                                               
researching  the  reason  for the  substantial  change  since  an                                                               
explanation  was not  given.  She noted  that  Ms. DiPietro  also                                                               
mentioned  recidivism  for  sex  offenders  was  lower  than  for                                                               
overall offenses.  She asked for  additional information  on what                                                               
happened within  the system,  such as any  new programs  or other                                                               
explanation for the impact on sex offender recidivism.                                                                          
2:53:49 PM                                                                                                                    
3:05:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES  reconvened  the   meeting  and  reviewed  upcoming                                                               
committee announcements.                                                                                                        
3:06:01 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Hughes  adjourned the  Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 3:06 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
ACJC - criminal justice data for SJUD.pdf SJUD 2/27/2019 1:30:00 PM
ACJC Presentation