Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/13/2004 03:25 PM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 484                                                                                                            
     An  Act imposing  a correctional  facility surcharge  on                                                                   
     persons  convicted of a  crime under  state law,  and on                                                                   
     persons  whose probation  is revoked;  relating to  fees                                                                   
     and  expenses for  interstate transfer  of probation  or                                                                   
     parole; and providing for an effective date.                                                                               
PORTIA   PARKER,    DEPUTY   COMMISSIONER,    DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                   
CORRECTIONS, stated that HB 484 would impose a surcharge on                                                                     
persons  convicted  of  an  offense   and  on  persons  whose                                                                   
probation was revoked.  The bill  also requires that a person                                                                   
under  State  probation  or  parole  supervision  to  pay  an                                                                   
application fee for a requested  transfer of that supervision                                                                   
to another state.                                                                                                               
She added  that Alaska  has an  urgent need  to mitigate  the                                                                   
cost of the  correctional facilities.  The  bill would impose                                                                   
a surcharge on  a person who pleads guilty,  nolo contendere,                                                                   
or is convicted  of a crime  if that person was  arrested and                                                                   
taken to a correctional facility or sentenced to a term of                                                                      
imprisonment.   The amount of the surcharge depends on the                                                                      
seriousness  of the crime.   Ms. Parker  added that  the bill                                                                   
would  also  impose  a  surcharge   on  a  person  placed  on                                                                   
probation  after conviction  of a  crime.   The surcharge  is                                                                   
collected only  if the defendant's probation  was revoked for                                                                   
a probation  violation  and that person  was either  arrested                                                                   
and taken  to a correctional  facility for the  violation, or                                                                   
sentenced to prison for it.                                                                                                     
Ms. Parker stated that Alaska  participates in the Interstate                                                                   
Compact for  Adult Offender Supervision, which  regulates the                                                                   
transfer  of supervision  for persons  under State  probation                                                                   
and parole.   HB 484 would  establish an application  fee for                                                                   
persons  under active  probation  or parole  supervision  who                                                                   
request  an  interstate  transfer of  supervision  under  the                                                                   
Compact.   According to  the Department  of Corrections,  the                                                                   
majority of  other states  already impose  a fee for  similar                                                                   
services.   The legislation  would require  the applicant  to                                                                   
post bond  or deposit cash, which  would be forfeited  if the                                                                   
State has  to escort the person  back to Alaska  for confined                                                                   
Vice Chair  Meyer questioned how  the dollar amount  had been                                                                   
determined.   Ms. Parker replied  that the middle  ground was                                                                   
chosen for  booking fees.   Some states  charge a  daily fee,                                                                   
with many other administrative  charges imposed.  The highest                                                                   
found  was $250  dollars,  so  the Department  believed  that                                                                   
$100 dollar should be reasonable.                                                                                               
Vice Chair  Meyer asked  how people with  no income  could be                                                                   
charged.  Ms. Parker requested  that someone else address the                                                                   
collection  process and  that there  are people  on line  who                                                                   
could address that  concern.  She pointed out  that wages can                                                                   
be garnished.                                                                                                                   
TAPE HFC 04 - 81, Side A                                                                                                      
Ms. Parker added that housing  and medical needs are paid for                                                                   
by the State general fund and  that working in the facilities                                                                   
could  help  pay  for  the  $100  fine  in  the  correctional                                                                   
Vice Chair Meyer asked if work  in the facility was optional.                                                                   
Ms. Parker replied that it is.                                                                                                  
Representative  Chenault pointed  out that  the Court  System                                                                   
currently  assesses charges  for just  about everything.   He                                                                   
asked  about the  transferring process  and how  the fee  was                                                                   
determined.   Ms. Parker  responded that  the offender  would                                                                   
have to make a request for a transfer  to another state to be                                                                   
charged the  fee and they would  then be under  the probation                                                                   
through an interstate contract.                                                                                                 
Representative Foster  referenced the 32,000  yearly arrests.                                                                   
Ms.  Parker  explained  that   is  the  number  of  bookings.                                                                   
Representative  Foster  pointed   out  that  there  are  only                                                                   
600,000 people in  the entire state.  That amount  would be a                                                                   
huge percent of  the State's population.  Ms.  Parker advised                                                                   
that many are the same individual being rebooked.                                                                               
Representative Croft  asked if the transfer  would be charged                                                                   
for only one way.   Ms. Parker clarified that  there would be                                                                   
a charge for processing when they  request to transfer out of                                                                   
state.  That is the manner in  which most other states handle                                                                   
it.   If  they were  charged on  entering  into Alaska,  they                                                                   
would be  charged both  an exiting from  the other  state and                                                                   
then again an entering fee.  The  $100 dollar fee would cover                                                                   
the request  for processing  and needs to  be a bond,  a $200                                                                   
dollar bail  bond.   If the  individual does  not need  to be                                                                   
retrieved, then the $200 dollars is refundable.                                                                                 
Representative  Croft  recommended  it  would  be  better  to                                                                   
charge them coming  into state.  In effect, there  would be a                                                                   
double   charge    when   transferring   back    to   Alaska.                                                                   
Representative  Foster believed  it would  be cheaper  to get                                                                   
them out of the State.                                                                                                          
DIANE  WENDLANDT, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ASSISTANT                                                                   
ATTORNEY GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT OF  LAW, ANCHORAGE,  offered to                                                                   
answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                              
Representative Foster MOVED to  report CS HB 484 (JUD) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CS  HB  484   (JUD)  was  reported  out  of   Committee  with                                                                   
"individual" recommendations and  with a new zero note by the                                                                   
Alaska Court System,  a new fiscal note by  the Department of                                                                   
Corrections and fiscal note #1 by the Department of Law.                                                                        

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