Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120
03/27/2009 01:00 PM JUDICIARY
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
|Confirmation Hearing(s)|| Commission on Judicial Council|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 141 - COMPACT FOR JUVENILES; INTERSTATE COUNCIL 1:20:59 PM CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 141, "An Act relating to the Interstate Compact for Juveniles; relating to the State Council for Interstate Adult and Juvenile Offender Supervision; amending Rules 4 and 24(b), Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an effective date." [Chair Ramras turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Dahlstrom.] 1:21:28 PM AMANDA MORTENSEN, Intern, Representative John Coghill, Alaska State Legislature, on behalf of the sponsor, Representative Coghill, and by way of presenting HB 141, paraphrased from the sponsor statement, which read [original punctuation provided]: This bill would enact the new Interstate Compact for Juveniles into law. This would replace the old compact which was created in 1955. The purpose of the Compact is to ensure the supervision of juvenile offenders and the return of runaways, escapees and absconders. The Compact provides the procedural means to regulate the movement of juveniles who are under court supervision across state lines. The Association of Compact Administrators estimates that the Interstate Compact on Juveniles is used in 20,000 to 30,000 transfer and supervision cases annually. The new Compact ensures that all states will have identical language in their statutes which would help with compliance issues. The new Compact provides procedures for enforcement which the old Compact lacked. The Interstate Compact for Juveniles also provides for the collection of standardized information and information sharing systems. This is a chance for the states to have the means to deal with state problems and enforce state solutions without having any federal intervention. 35 states have already passed this compact. If Alaska chooses not to enact this Compact the state would have to deal with every other state on a case-by-case basis which would cost the state more money than it would cost to implement the Compact. The compact provides for the safety of the juvenile offender and the state as a whole. The importance of this compact cannot be overstated. This legislation is necessary to ensure the public safety and security of Alaskans. It will help ensure that Alaska receives notification about juveniles who are relocated or traveling to Alaska before they arrive here, and will expedite Alaska's ability to send juveniles from here to other jurisdictions. 1:23:46 PM BARBARA MURRAY, Deputy Compact Administrator, Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ), Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), in response to questions and comments, clarified that the new ICJ went into effect August 2008 - when the 35th state "signed on" - and agreed to research when that ICJ was presented to [those states]. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL, speaking as the sponsor of HB 141, indicated that the methodology used for placing juveniles in state custody has been changing, and surmised that a compact could best address any resulting issues. He said he favors compacts, indicating that he prefers that approach as opposed to just waiting until the federal government mandates what the state shall do. He assured the committee that joining the ICJ will not result in the state's authority being diminished; rather, the state is simply delegating its authority to those representing the state in the ICJ's commission. MS. MORTENSEN noted that members' packets include a list of those states that have signed on so far, with the first states having done so in 2003. She offered her understanding that the concept of the new ICJ was brought forth in 2000, with the new ICJ itself materializing in 2002. MS. MURRAY, in response to a question, said that the commission created by the ICJ had its first meeting in December of 2008, and is now in the process of developing rules, regulations, and processes for administering the ICJ. 1:29:22 PM CAROL A. BRENCKLE, Attorney at Law; Chair, Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (AJJAC), Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), relayed that members of the AJJAC are appointed by the governor, and that the AJJAC provides advice regarding the implementation of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974 within Alaska, and makes annual recommendations to the governor and legislature regarding juvenile justice issues. The AJJAC, for a number of years, has been following the implementation of the ICJ and discussing its application in Alaska. Other states either have adopted the ICJ or are in the process of doing so, and unless Alaska does so as well, Alaska will be forced to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with each state before accepting a child from it or sending a child to it. MS. BRENCKLE said she's handled a number of delinquency cases over the years, and has dealt with a number of children whose parents relocated, thus requiring that "the probation" be transferred as well. Although interstate compacts might appear to be cumbersome, they facilitate the transfer of such children and do so safely; it is therefore important for Alaska to adopt the new ICJ in order to ensure that juveniles moving across state lines are tracked and supervised. Alaska, she relayed, is at the forefront of developing data that will be incorporated into the ICJ, and surmised that Alaska is prepared to play an active role in the development of the ICJ's rules and procedures. She therefore urged adoption of the ICJ so that Alaska could be part of that process and not be left simply reacting to rules and procedures developed by other states. MS. BRENCKLE noted that at its meeting in March in Juneau, the AJJAC discussed the ICJ, and voted to support HB 141. She added that the AJJAC will be continuing its involvement with the "juvenile justice process," and is glad to be a part of Alaska's process. VICE CHAIR DALSTROM ascertained that no one else wished to testify on HB 141. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked whether other states have substantially amended their versions of the ICJ. MS. MURRAY said she would research that issue and get the resulting information to the committee. VICE CHAIR DAHLSTROM asked that that resulting information also be provided to the bill's next committee of referral, the House Finance Committee. She then closed public testimony on HB 141. 1:37:07 PM CHAIR RAMRAS moved to report HB 141 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, HB 141 was reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.