Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

03/18/2015 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

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01:06:32 PM Start
01:06:55 PM HB15
02:34:01 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
            HB 15-CREDITS FOR TIME SERVED/GOOD TIME                                                                         
1:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 15, "An Act  relating to credits toward a sentence                                                               
of imprisonment and to good time deductions."                                                                                   
1:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  adopt  CSHB  15,  Version  29-                                                               
LS0102\P,  Gardner/Martin,  3/2/15,   as  the  working  document.                                                               
There  being no  objection, the  committee substitute  was before                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
1:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TAMMIE WILSON,  Alaska State  Legislature, stated                                                               
that the last  version related to electronic  monitoring and good                                                               
time,  but  that  current version  refers  solely  to  electronic                                                               
monitoring.    She noted  that  if  a defendant  commits  another                                                               
criminal offense, the offender cannot  count the days they are on                                                               
electronic monitoring as  currently, when a person  is waiting in                                                               
pre-trial the  days count.   She stated the goal  with electronic                                                               
monitoring  is for  defendants to  keep their  jobs, and  receive                                                               
treatment while  awaiting trial to  help them get back  on track.                                                               
This would be, she remarked,  opposed to incentivizing a pretrial                                                               
defendant where  treatment is not  available until  the defendant                                                               
has been  convicted.   She pointed to  the discussion  during the                                                               
last hearing  regarding specific parameters in  that the offender                                                               
[on electronic  monitoring] cannot just sit  home [playing] video                                                               
games.   She advised  that she  subsequently worked  with Richard                                                               
Svobodny, Deputy  Attorney General,  Department of Law  (DOL) and                                                               
referred to  [Sec. 2, AS  12.55.027(d)] page 3, lines  1-6, which                                                               
          (1) court appearances;                                                                                            
          (2) meeting with counsel;                                                                                         
          (3) period during which the person is at a                                                                        
     location  by  the  court for  purposes  of  employment,                                                                
     attending  an   educational  or   vocational  training,                                                                
     performing  community volunteer  work,  or attending  a                                                                
     counseling or medical appointment.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   continued  that  not  everyone   is  not                                                               
necessarily   eligible  for   electronic   monitoring  and   bail                                                               
conditions  are decided  by  the  judge.   She  related that  the                                                               
Department  of Corrections  (DOC)  contacted her  with regard  to                                                               
ascertaining that the electronic  monitoring would be [solely] in                                                               
the State  of Alaska, and whether  the bill should list  any type                                                               
of monitoring vendor.   She reiterated that  the courts determine                                                               
the  type   of  electronic  monitoring  a   defendant  must  have                                                               
depending upon why  the defendant is awaiting trial  in the first                                                               
place.   The  bill is  one concept  in that  it refers  solely to                                                               
pretrial.   She offered  that DOC has  authority in  statute that                                                               
they may do  it but does not want to  compete, however, there are                                                               
areas in  the state where  private electronic  monitoring vendors                                                               
do not exist.                                                                                                                   
1:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked for  confirmation that  electronic monitoring                                                               
is  just for  pre-trial,  and not  subsequent  to conviction  and                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON responded "Correct."                                                                                      
1:12:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referred to page  2, line 3, "...  at a                                                               
location ordered  by the  court ..." and  wondered if  every time                                                               
the  person goes  to the  doctor and  a different  medical entity                                                               
whether he must go back to the court each time.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON answered there is  a process and the person                                                               
does need permission when in the electronic monitoring program.                                                                 
1:12:59 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel,  Alaska  Court  System,  Central                                                               
Office,  Office of  the Administrative  Director,  said from  the                                                               
court's point  of view, electronic  monitoring pretrial,  is that                                                               
the  court  sets  bail  conditions.     She  explained  that  the                                                               
defendant both  meets bail  conditions and gets  out of  jail, or                                                               
they can't meet  the bail condition and can't find  a third party                                                               
custodian.   In  the  event the  person does  not  meet the  bail                                                               
conditions they stay in jail and  the court has no authority over                                                               
the person in jail pretrial.                                                                                                    
She  noted  that  DOC  has   the  discretion  to  put  people  on                                                               
electronic monitoring.   Sometimes,  she remarked,  people cannot                                                               
make bail  and they hire  a private vendor  to be there  which is                                                               
similar to  a professional third  party custodian.   The offender                                                               
brings  the vendor  to  court and  if ordered  by  the court  the                                                               
vendor puts an electronic monitor  around the offender's ankle in                                                               
order  to  ascertain  that  the  offender  follows  her/her  bail                                                               
conditions.   This bill  attempts to  cover private  vendors, she                                                               
explained  who  are hired  at  the  time  of  sentencing.     The                                                               
offender  says to  the  court  that, as  an  example, he/she  was                                                               
sentenced  to  two years,  but  spent  six months  on  electronic                                                               
monitoring through the  vendor and would like  six months credit.                                                               
Under this  bill, the  court would  presumably give  the offender                                                               
six months  credit.   She stated  that the  court does  not order                                                               
anyone  to  electronic  monitoring,  but  may  allow  it  if  the                                                               
offender proposes  it as an  option.  Unfortunately,  she opined,                                                               
there  are private  vendors  in certain  communities  and not  in                                                               
other communities.   She further  opined that the  vendor charges                                                               
in the range  of approximately $500 per month.   In the event the                                                               
judge  agrees to  the proposed  condition, the  offender is  then                                                               
restrained, and  the judge fills out  a bail order and  lists the                                                               
conditions the offender must do or  not do.  She pointed out that                                                               
the  standard bail  order  does  not allow  people  to leave  the                                                               
1:17:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX questioned whether  the only difference between this                                                               
bill and  now, is that currently  there is no reduction  from the                                                               
sentence  when  the court  allows  electronic  monitoring for  an                                                               
MS.  MEADE  answered  in  the affirmative  and  stated  that  the                                                               
offender may have paid six  months to the vendor [pre-trial], but                                                               
when sentenced to  two years the offender still has  to serve two                                                               
years.   She opined that the  intent of the sponsor  was that due                                                               
to  the   offender  being  somewhat  restrained   pre-trial,  the                                                               
offender  should receive  credit  day-by-day for  the time  their                                                               
freedom was restrained.                                                                                                         
CHAIR LEDOUX asked if there  is an equal protection argument that                                                               
it is  not fair  that the people  who can afford  to pay  for the                                                               
electronic monitoring  don't have to  go to jail, but  those that                                                               
can't afford it do have to go to jail.                                                                                          
MS. MEADE  responded that she  couldn't say whether there  was or                                                               
wasn't  an  equal protection  problem,  and  that it  does  apply                                                               
differently when  an offender  can afford to  hire the  vendor as                                                               
opposed to an offender who cannot afford to pay bail.                                                                           
1:19:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   noted  that   this  bill   represents  a                                                               
substantial departure  from the  pattern in  terms of  credit for                                                               
pre-trial.  Currently,  the only place a person  can receive pre-                                                               
trial  credit  for time  served  is  by  going into  a  treatment                                                               
program under  Nygren v.  State of Alaska,  658 P.2d  141 (Alaska                                                             
App. 1983),  and the  statute that later  tried to  pattern after                                                               
Nygren.   He pointed out that  the offender must go  to treatment                                                           
related  to  reform and  rehabilitation.    Under this  bill,  he                                                               
surmised,   the  offender   on  electronic   monitoring  pretrial                                                               
receives  credit for  time spent  on electronic  monitoring.   He                                                               
reiterated that it represents a  fairly substantial policy change                                                               
in  terms of  what  the  courts have  been  doing about  pretrial                                                               
credit for time served.                                                                                                         
MS. MEADE  agreed that this  is a  policy change, but  there have                                                               
been discussions about "smart justice"  reforms, and changing the                                                               
way the  state does business.   The  statute read that  the court                                                               
may not  grant credit  for time  spent on  electronic monitoring,                                                               
and this bill would change that.                                                                                                
1:21:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN noted  that one of the  differences is that                                                               
it "shall" grant credit for  electronic monitoring which actually                                                               
takes discretion  away from  the judge.   Under this  statute, he                                                               
further noted, it is iron clad  that if a person is on electronic                                                               
monitoring   they   are   getting   day-for-day   credit   before                                                               
MS. MEADE agreed that "shall"  sounds like there is no discretion                                                               
on the part  of the judicial officer to determine  whether or not                                                               
to give the  credit.  She referred to [Sec.  2, AS 12.55.027(d)],                                                               
page 1, line 10-13, which read:                                                                                                 
     (d)  ... if  the person  has not  committed a  criminal                                                                
     offense  while  under  electronic  monitoring  and  the                                                                
     court  finds  that  the  restrictions  imposed  on  the                                                                
     person's liberty while  under the electronic monitoring                                                                
     program are equivalent to incarceration, ...                                                                         
MS.  MEADE continued  that if  the court  has to  make a  finding                                                               
before  it  grants  it.     The  judge  would  determine  whether                                                               
electronic monitoring  is equivalent  to incarceration and  if it                                                               
is, the court must grant the credit.                                                                                            
1:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  there were  several cases  in the                                                               
State of  Washington regarding  the inability to  pay a  fine and                                                               
the courts  have found that  to be  a denial of  equal protection                                                               
and discriminating against the poor.                                                                                            
He opined that  it directly has an analogy here  because the only                                                               
offenders getting out are the  offenders who can pay the vendors.                                                               
He  questioned whether  the  poor ever  get  credit because  they                                                               
cannot pay  the vendor.   He noted that if  electronic monitoring                                                               
is only  available in  one or  two places in  the state,  and the                                                               
offender does not live in  those places and cannot take advantage                                                               
of this program,  they cannot get out for  employment, and cannot                                                               
receive credit.                                                                                                                 
MS. MEADE answered  that she could not swear to  the $500 a month                                                               
figure  as perhaps  some  vendors  might slide  the  price.   She                                                               
pointed  out that  the  bill  is for  private  or DOC  electronic                                                               
monitoring, so  if DOC performs electronic  monitoring in Barrow,                                                               
or Sitka,  then the person could  get credit for time  spent, but                                                               
it is up to DOC what to do  with anyone in its jurisdiction.  She                                                               
remarked  that  DOC  can  put  people  on  electronic  monitoring                                                               
pretrial  and those  offenders would  receive  credit under  this                                                               
1:26:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG quiered as  to whether the sponsor would                                                               
accept an  amendment to  require the  state to  pay the  cost for                                                               
people who  cannot afford  to pay.   He  then reiterated  a prior                                                               
question on  page 2,  lines 3-4,  "at a  location ordered  by the                                                               
court," and  assumed it could be  read as requiring the  court to                                                               
entertain an  application each  time the person  needed to  see a                                                               
different  medical  entity,  or  changed employment.    He  asked                                                               
whether that  phrase would take too  much time at the  court, and                                                               
if so, would there likely be a fiscal note.                                                                                     
MS. MEADE  opined that the judge  could release a person  on bail                                                               
with  standard  conditions  and  presumably  say  the  person  is                                                               
released into  the custody of  the electronic  monitoring vendor.                                                               
The judge may  allow certain places the offender may  go, such as                                                               
everything listed in the bill,  and the vendor ensures that those                                                               
are  the only  places the  person may  go in  complying with  the                                                               
court order.                                                                                                                    
1:28:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  said the  comparison between a  person who                                                               
can pay bail, and a person  who cannot, brings to mind the person                                                               
who can  provide a third  party custodian versus the  person that                                                               
cannot.   He  stated  he  assumed that  in  the  event this  bill                                                               
passes, the court  will make a determination based  on whether or                                                               
not a  private or  commercial vendor  is trustworthy,  valid, and                                                               
appropriate  for   conditions  of   bail.    He   questioned  the                                                               
difference between  a third party  custodian and the  person with                                                               
the electronic  monitor and  surmised they  are treated  the same                                                               
and possibly the bill should  be expanded.  He further questioned                                                               
whether there  are statutory guidelines  for conditions  of bail,                                                               
or is it purely at the discretion of the judge.                                                                                 
MS. MEADE  advised that there are  a number of statutes  that set                                                               
out  bail conditions  a judge  may order.   AS  12.55.011 has  18                                                               
possible conditions that is followed  by a specific statute about                                                               
bail conditions  in domestic  violence cases  in addition  to the                                                               
18.   She  also noted  additional  conditions can  be ordered  in                                                               
alcohol  related cases.   The  judge can  only order  a condition                                                               
listed in the statutes, and one  of the conditions is a catch all                                                               
or  anything else  the judge  deems  to be  necessary to  protect                                                               
public  safety.   She pointed  out that  judges do  have standard                                                               
conditions and  other conditions they  can order.   She explained                                                               
that  a  third party  custodian  versus  giving credit  for  time                                                               
served  with a  third party  custodian versus  giving credit  for                                                               
time spent  on electronic  monitoring would be  a policy  call of                                                               
the legislature.                                                                                                                
1:31:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER   surmised  that   the  bill   before  the                                                               
committee is  a trigger for  whether or not an  offender receives                                                               
[credit] is  purely the electronic  monitor and not  any criteria                                                               
the court may use.                                                                                                              
MS.  MEADE answered  "that  is how  I read  the  bill," and  that                                                               
offenders receive  credit for time  served in  treatment programs                                                               
if  the  treatment  programs are  residential  and  have  certain                                                               
constraints that resemble the functional equivalent of jail.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked for  clarification in that  the bill                                                               
proposes day-for-day, hour-for-hour as it  is the same as time in                                                               
MS. MEADE  replied that as she  reads the bill it  would be time-                                                               
for-time, equal-equal.                                                                                                          
1:33:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  questioned whether currently the  court can release                                                               
an offender to a third party custodian.                                                                                         
MS. MEADE  agreed, but  stipulated that only  when a  third party                                                               
custodian is  a bail  condition as sometimes  the judge  does not                                                               
allow third party custodians.                                                                                                   
CHAIR LEDOUX further questioned  whether electronic monitoring is                                                               
sometimes used instead of a third party custodian.                                                                              
MS. MEADE agreed,  and offered that most  people would appreciate                                                               
the  judge ruling  that  the  offender must  have  a third  party                                                               
custodian.   Unfortunately,  she said,  the offender  cannot find                                                               
anyone in their lives with  the appropriate background or lack of                                                               
background that the judge will approve.                                                                                         
1:34:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked why the sponsor  would not want to give credit                                                               
to an offender with a third party custodian.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  responded that a person  cannot know where                                                               
another  person is  all of  the  time unless  they are  literally                                                               
hooked up  to the  offender.   She noted there  is a  large issue                                                               
with  drinking  while  intoxicated  (DUI),  and  with  electronic                                                               
monitoring when  a defendant  takes a  drink the  monitor records                                                               
the  drink.   She remarked  that  the ankle  monitor will  record                                                               
exactly where the offender has  been, whether or not the offender                                                               
has  taken drugs  or drinks,  and will  show the  court that  the                                                               
offender  performed exactly  as  the court  ruled.   She  advised                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg  that  there  is  funding  through  the                                                               
Department of Health & Social  Services for electronic monitoring                                                               
for those that cannot pay.                                                                                                      
1:36:33 PM7                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  LEDOUX   queried  where  the  bill   stipulates  that  the                                                               
electronic monitor can record when a person takes a drink.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  relayed that  it is  at the  discretion of                                                               
the  court  to  determine  the  type  of  electronic  monitor  an                                                               
offender would be on and  whether the defender should utilize the                                                               
electronic monitor.                                                                                                             
She said  she did  not list  the different  kinds of  monitors as                                                               
with the  computer age things  are changing  fast.  She  noted in                                                               
that  manner, the  courts will  have more  choices and  hopefully                                                               
there  will  be more  venders  with  more  high tech  to  utilize                                                               
offenders  getting back  on  track  versus going  to  jail.   She                                                               
explained that every night the  monitor downloads the information                                                               
of the  day.  She opined  that the 24/7  program is not a  way to                                                               
monitor as  the offender can  tell the  courts they have  met the                                                               
conditions  even though  they may  have taken  a drink  after the                                                               
second blow.                                                                                                                    
1:38:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX  surmised that  often  when  a defendant  does  not                                                               
present  a flight  risk and  is not  viewed as  dangerous, judges                                                               
will let people off on their own recognizance (OR).                                                                             
MS. MEADE responded "Yes."                                                                                                      
CHAIR LEDOUX asked  where it would come into play  that the judge                                                               
might  require  electronic  monitoring or  a  professional  third                                                               
party custodian.                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE advised the bail statute  sets as a default that people                                                               
should get out on their own  OR without conditions.  She referred                                                               
to  subsection  (b)  that  reads  if the  judge  finds  that  the                                                               
interests  of  public  safety   cannot  be  adequately  protected                                                               
without restrictions,  then the  judge can impose  any of  the 18                                                               
listed  bail conditions.   She  said  that electronic  monitoring                                                               
would  come  in   because  the  person  doesn't   make  the  bail                                                               
conditions,  doesn't  have  bail  money,   or  is  left  at  DOC.                                                               
Currently, DOC  can put people  out on electronic  monitoring and                                                               
she opined that  this bill might encourage them to  do it more as                                                               
the people  out of jail  with DOC electronic  monitoring pretrial                                                               
get credit  for that time.   She further opined that  it would be                                                               
at low cost or a sliding scale amount of cost to the person.                                                                    
1:41:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  how many  people post-sentence  are                                                               
currently on electronic monitoring with DOC.                                                                                    
MS. MEADE advised that she does not have that information.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE   WILSON   offered   that   she   heard   it   was                                                               
approximately  2,000 people,  which is  down quite  a bit  from 5                                                               
years  ago.   She advised  that  she talked  with DOC  as to  why                                                               
offenders  do not  understand that  electronic monitoring  exists                                                               
and one of the  issues is where the offenders will  live.  Once a                                                               
person has been in  jail for a few months they  may lose the rent                                                               
on their  home, and  their job  is probably  gone, as  opposed to                                                               
[electronic monitoring].                                                                                                        
1:43:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  referred  to   prior  testimony  that  an                                                               
offender can  be released  on OR,  and when  judges look  at bail                                                               
conditions they are looking at  the offender, the crime involved,                                                               
the offender's criminal history, and  a whole range of factors in                                                               
determining  the  appropriate  bail.   He  noted  that  the  less                                                               
serious crimes  tend to  have less  bail amounts  and restrictive                                                               
bail conditions.   He  pointed out that  in more  violent crimes,                                                               
with longer criminal histories, it  raises concerns for the court                                                               
in terms of protecting the  public while awaiting trial regarding                                                               
electronic monitoring or a third party custodian.                                                                               
MS. MEADE said "I would agree with that."                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN noted  that  in terms  of the  distinction                                                               
between  third   party  custodians  and   electronic  monitoring,                                                               
historically,  it has  not been  "either or"  as there  have been                                                               
many  occasions when  an offender  is released  to a  third party                                                               
custodian and an electronic monitor  due to concerns the offender                                                               
may represent certain dangers to the community.                                                                                 
MS. MEADE  answered that she does  not know that judges  have the                                                               
authority to order an offender  onto electronic monitoring and in                                                               
fact, her  information is  that offenders  are put  on electronic                                                               
monitoring  only  when they  propose  it  as an  alternative  for                                                               
something the judge has ordered them  to do.  She noted that most                                                               
typically, it is a third party custodian.                                                                                       
1:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  related that  when an offender  would like                                                               
access to electronic monitoring to do  their time out of jail, an                                                               
easy solution  is that they can  plead guilty to the  charge, get                                                               
sentenced, and if DOC thinks  they are appropriate for electronic                                                               
monitoring they could be out in  the community the day after they                                                               
are sentenced.  He noted that it  is a small circle of people who                                                               
can  afford  to pay  for  electronic  monitoring that  have  been                                                               
charged with  more serious crimes and  are figuring out a  way to                                                               
get out of jail while moving forward.                                                                                           
MS. MEADE  replied that she does  not know whether it  is a small                                                               
group of people  as there are a good number  of offenders in jail                                                               
pretrial  who are  not making  their  bail conditions.   She  has                                                               
heard  that 40  percent  of those  in custody  right  now are  in                                                               
custody  before  they have  been  sentenced  and that  population                                                               
could possibly  ask the  judge for  electronic monitoring.   This                                                               
bill encourages offenders  to use it because  they receive credit                                                               
for time served.                                                                                                                
1:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX referred  to  [Sec. 2,  AS  12.55.027(d)], page  1,                                                               
lines 10-14, and  page 2, lines 1-6, and asked  whether there are                                                               
situations where the court might  find that electronic monitoring                                                               
in a home, is not equivalent to incarceration.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  reiterated  that   the  judge  makes  the                                                               
determination   regarding   electronic    monitoring   and   bail                                                               
conditions.    Prior  to electronic  monitoring  being  utilized,                                                               
everyone  must  be in  agreement  as  to  how the  offender  must                                                               
perform.  She  opined that when the offender performs  all of the                                                               
conditions of bail, she could not  think of a reason the offender                                                               
would not receive electronic monitoring  as it was set before the                                                               
defendant left the court.                                                                                                       
1:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX  pointed out  that  it  looks  like the  court  has                                                               
discretion, yet the  bill also says there is no  discretion.  She                                                               
questioned  that  just  because  the offender  is  meeting  their                                                               
conditions  of  bail,  court  appearances,  et  cetra,  does  not                                                               
necessarily  mean that  where they  are living  is equivalent  to                                                               
incarceration.  She asked "where is the discretion."                                                                            
1:49:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON expressed that  there is discretion in that                                                               
the  judge  does  not  have  to put  a  defendant  on  electronic                                                               
CHAIR  LEDOUX asked  in  what  situation [electronic  monitoring]                                                               
would be denied.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON answered that  on pretrial it is completely                                                               
up to  the judge, based  on what is in  statute as to  whether or                                                               
not the  defendant qualifies,  and she pointed  out that  none of                                                               
those  rules are  being  changed.   The  same  rules  that put  a                                                               
defendant  on  electronic  monitoring now,  through  the  private                                                               
portions of  it, will still be  allowed.  The discretion  for the                                                               
judge is at the beginning when the judge sets out restrictions.                                                                 
1:51:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX asked,  for example,  why  the bill  read "a  court                                                               
shall grant credit against the  sentence of imprisonment for time                                                               
spent  under   electronic  monitoring  if  the   person  has  not                                                               
committed a criminal offense while under electronic monitoring."                                                                
She stated  there is a section  in the bill which  seems to allow                                                               
the court  a certain amount of  discretion and she was  trying to                                                               
figure  out under  what circumstances  the court  could use  that                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON responded  that page 2, lines  1-6, are the                                                               
portions the judges are talking  about in the first place, before                                                               
the  offender  leaves  the  courtroom   [moving  forward].    The                                                               
discretion for the judge is  determining where the offender lives                                                               
as it must be worked out  with DOC or the private vendor, whether                                                               
they have  a job,  whether they are  going through  treatment, as                                                               
the  defendant must  show the  three portions  of the  provision.                                                               
For  example,   in  the  event   an  offender   [with  electronic                                                               
monitoring] does  not meet a  court appearance they will  be back                                                               
in jail because the agreement is broken.                                                                                        
1:53:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  pointed out  that  the  questions of  the                                                               
chair relate to  the idea that an offender  is basically confined                                                               
to quarters  except when performing  under 1-3.   He said  he did                                                               
not see how  the court had a lot of  discretion to make decisions                                                               
about whether the  offender did or did not comply  with 1-3.  The                                                               
court could very well say  the offender missed a court appearance                                                               
and will  lose whatever credit they  may or may not  have accrued                                                               
for the electronic monitoring.  He  noted that there is a list of                                                               
things the offender  can routinely leave the home for  so could a                                                               
court say the  offender is going to so many  things that it found                                                               
this was not equivalent to incarceration.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON   reiterated  that  conditions   would  be                                                               
determined while  [in court]  as the  judge determines  where the                                                               
offender  can  and cannot  go.    She advised  it  is  up to  the                                                               
monitoring  vendor to  immediately  report  whether the  offender                                                               
broke the  agreement to  the court, and  offered that  the vendor                                                               
attends court hearings with the defendant.                                                                                      
1:55:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   asked  whether   under  this   bill  the                                                               
electronic   monitor  vendor   that  runs   the  monitor   has  a                                                               
requirement  to  report  someone  that  is  not  where  they  are                                                               
supposed to be right away.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  advised that  she  had  checked with  the                                                               
[vendor] in Fairbanks and they immediately report a violation.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN said his office  checked with DOC last week                                                               
and  the  number  of  post   sentence  defendants  on  electronic                                                               
monitoring was  4,730, and the  number of pretrial  on electronic                                                               
monitoring through DOC  was 447.  He pointed out  that the number                                                               
of people on electronic monitoring is actually quite high.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON argued  that the  number is  post sentence                                                               
and not pretrial, and assumed  that those post trial are actually                                                               
getting  credit while  being on  electronic monitoring  where the                                                               
others are not.   The intent of  the bill is that  the numbers of                                                               
pretrial would  increase, the offenders keep  their jobs, receive                                                               
treatment, and Alaskans have a better society because of it.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  reiterated that 447 are  pretrial and this                                                               
number is  not all post  trial and  that 4,730 is  post sentence.                                                               
He pointed  out that electronic  monitoring does not  do anything                                                               
to address  the treatment issue  which historically is  the focus                                                               
of the courts.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON argued that  with electronic monitoring the                                                               
offender may choose a treatment  program that may not necessarily                                                               
be   residential.     She  reiterated   that  DOC   advised  that                                                               
approximately 40 percent  of those currently sitting  in jail are                                                               
waiting to have  their cases heard.  She said  she hopes that DOC                                                               
will become a part of that for areas that do not have [vendors].                                                                
1:57:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE advised that the court system is neutral on the bill.                                                                 
1:58:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  recalled  that in  most  situations  a                                                               
person  has a  constitutional  right  to bail  that  can only  be                                                               
circumscribed if the  offender is a flight risk or  danger to the                                                               
community.   He noted that the  bill reads it is  presumptive the                                                               
offender would not  be a flight risk due to  being monitored.  He                                                               
used the  example of  employment and  asked why  it would  make a                                                               
difference if  the offender  is going  to employment  because the                                                               
offender's right  to be out on  bail is not dependent  upon their                                                               
employment.   He referred to  page 2,  line 4, "for  the purposes                                                               
of" and  said it appears  to be  a language of  limitation rather                                                               
than exemplary  of certain things  that could cause the  court to                                                               
give the offender  credit.  He offered that the  core question is                                                               
whether  the offender  has  a right  to  be out  [on  bail].   He                                                               
questioned that should  the offender be denied that  right and is                                                               
subsequently found  guilty, isn't it irrelevant  why the offender                                                               
is out as  long as he/she is  neither a flight risk  or danger to                                                               
the  community.   He reiterated  that the  offender is  giving up                                                               
their constitutional  right so shouldn't  they receive  credit if                                                               
subsequently found guilty.                                                                                                      
2:01:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON pointed  out that the issue  is not whether                                                               
an  offender can  make  bail  or not.    She  offered that  while                                                               
shadowing the "head  of corrections in Fairbanks"  she saw people                                                               
sitting in  jail day-after-day  watching cable  television, which                                                               
she opined  should be  changed to public  television.   She noted                                                               
that inmates  have their food  brought to them and  basically the                                                               
only thing they  are forced to do is change  clothes once a week.                                                               
She  opined  that  the  offender could  be  thinking  that  their                                                               
friends are  in jail,  they are  being fed,  and clothed,  and it                                                               
might be  better than the outside  world.  She remarked  that the                                                               
state wants people to get back  on their feet as everyone makes a                                                               
mistake and this  bill is not about the fact  that 101 percent of                                                               
Alaska jails are  filled, it is a bill about  stopping the cycle.                                                               
During the last  hearing the discussion was  that offenders could                                                               
be out  just playing  video games,  or hanging  out at  the local                                                               
park and, she stated that  she prefers certain conditions so that                                                               
the offender  realizes they have  to step up  to the plate.   She                                                               
reiterated that the  conditions are up to the  judge to determine                                                               
how stringent the conditions will be.                                                                                           
2:05:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LEDOUX  advised  that  during   the  last  hearing  public                                                               
testimony was left open.                                                                                                        
2:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CARRIE  BELDEN,  Director,  Division  of  Probation  and  Parole,                                                               
Department of Corrections  (DOC), said a topic  not yet mentioned                                                               
is the Interstate  Compact which is an agreement with  all of the                                                               
states  and territories  to allow  for the  transfer of  inmates,                                                               
probationers, and  parolees.  She  explained that  the Interstate                                                               
Compact  requires the  receiving state  to authorize  and approve                                                               
any placements  or transfers.   As written, she opined  this bill                                                               
could possibly  put the state  in violation of that  compact, and                                                               
she would  like to  continue working with  the sponsor  to adjust                                                               
the language.                                                                                                                   
2:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX asked how the bill violates the Interstate Compact.                                                                
MS. BELDEN offered an example  of an offender being on electronic                                                               
monitoring  in another  state wherein  the  judge sentences  that                                                               
offender to time  served.  She said the offender  would no longer                                                               
be in inmate status and would  be placed on probation.  According                                                               
to the compact,  she explained, the offender must  go through the                                                               
compact and allow the receiving  state to grant Alaska permission                                                               
to  let the  probationer  resides  in that  state.   She  further                                                               
explained  that the  ability of  the judge  to grant  time served                                                               
would  violate  the compact  because  Alaska  did not  allow  the                                                               
receiving state the opportunity to  review the case and accept or                                                               
deny the transfer.                                                                                                              
CHAIR LEDOUX asked Ms. Belden to  put her comments in writing and                                                               
to offer legal citations with examples.                                                                                         
2:08:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  observed that  regardless of  what form                                                               
this bill  takes, the committee could  accomplish conformity with                                                               
the  compact by  referencing  the compact  to  states "except  in                                                               
certain circumstances  governed by  the compact  where permission                                                               
must be  sought from the  initiating state ..." He  advised there                                                               
could be  an amendment  conforming to  the compact  and suggested                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and Research  Services,  Ms.  Belen, and  the                                                               
sponsor, determine appropriate language.                                                                                        
MS. BELDEN agreed that it is an excellent idea.                                                                                 
2:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether Ms. Belden  is familiar with                                                               
trends and statistics for people  on electronic monitoring within                                                               
the Department of Corrections.                                                                                                  
MS. BELDEN  replied that she  is not  a specialist but  does have                                                               
some knowledge.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  questioned what  percentage of  people are                                                               
on  electronic monitoring,  both presentence  and post  sentence,                                                               
and asked for a description of recent trends.                                                                                   
MS.  BELDEN  answered  that  there  are  approximately  451  post                                                               
sentenced inmates  right now.   She described  it as  an increase                                                               
and  that  DOC   has  worked  hard  to   support  the  electronic                                                               
monitoring program, and further the re-entry portion of DOC.                                                                    
2:11:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked for clarification that  DOC has been                                                               
working hard to identify eligible  inmate that are post sentenced                                                               
to attempt to get them onto  electronic monitoring and out of the                                                               
MS.  BELDEN  stated  that  DOC  has  been  making  an  effort  at                                                               
attempting to  identify those people in  determining whether they                                                               
would like the opportunity for electronic monitoring.                                                                           
2:12:24 PM                                                                                                                    
QUINLIAN  STEINER,  Director,  Central  Office,  Public  Defender                                                               
Agency, Department  of Administration, said that  presently there                                                               
are opportunities  for people to  receive credit for  time served                                                               
when entering  a residential treatment  program, but  nothing for                                                               
participation  in out-patient  programs.   He  offered that  this                                                               
bill   provides   an    incentive   and   opportunity   promoting                                                               
rehabilitative  treatments and  other rehabilitative  activities.                                                               
Ultimately,  he  stated,  it  would  help  reduce  recidivism  in                                                               
Alaska.   He noted that  he had offered  the sponsor a  couple of                                                               
tweaks to the  language and was advised the sponsor  will work to                                                               
facilitate  those  concerns.    He   opined  that  the  bill,  as                                                               
structured, generally  has a positive  promotion on  reduction of                                                               
2:13:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  STEINER responded  to Representative  Gruenberg that  he has                                                               
reviewed the bill currently before the committee.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  if  this  committee  substitute                                                               
meets the concerns he had expressed [to the sponsor].                                                                           
MR.  STEINER  replied  "No,"  as there  is  a  concern  regarding                                                               
judicial  findings and  how it  is worded  that conflicts  with a                                                               
case, and  he recommended changes.   He  described it as  an easy                                                               
fix that would not compromise the intent of the bill.                                                                           
MR.  STEINER  answered  Representative Gruenberg  that  he  would                                                               
draft language that would cure his  concern and provide it to the                                                               
bill sponsor.                                                                                                                   
MR.  STEINER advised  Representative Gruenberg  that he  would be                                                               
happy to keep the committee apprised of his progress.                                                                           
2:14:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  if he  had a  chance to  perform                                                               
research on  Representative Gruenberg's comments  regarding equal                                                               
MR. STEINER  replied that he  has not performed research  on that                                                               
issue  as with  bail  it is  tricky.   He  explained  there is  a                                                               
certain  reality that  people with  money can  get out  [of jail]                                                               
more easily  than people who do  not have money.   There are many                                                               
times  the  cash  corporate   requirement  prevents  people  from                                                               
getting out and,  he noted, it occurs on all  levels of offenses.                                                               
He pointed out that conditions can  be layered on and people with                                                               
money  or  a  broader  support  networks  can  find  third  party                                                               
custodians  who meet  the requirements  of a  judge.   He related                                                               
there  is an  inherent disadvantage  for people  who do  not have                                                               
resources, and  this bill opens  up the possibility  of expansion                                                               
by DOC into  pretrial electronic monitoring to  a greater degree,                                                               
and DOC  is more likely  to be able  to do  a sliding scale.   He                                                               
extended   that   under   this  bill,   when   pretrial   release                                                               
opportunities actually  promotes work and treatment,  there could                                                               
be a  reduction of the desperate  impact that bail can  have on a                                                               
2:17:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  the  committee  is interested  in                                                               
drafting  language that  follows  the  constitution and  drafting                                                               
language that will  require the people who apply this  new law in                                                               
a manner  that follows the  constitution.   He described it  as a                                                               
drafting  issue up  front  rather than  as  an application  issue                                                               
after the bill is signed into law.                                                                                              
MR. STEINER stated that an  equal protection problem is not being                                                               
written in.                                                                                                                     
2:19:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX cautioned Representative  Gruenberg that this is the                                                               
appropriate time to ask questions.   She asked that he please not                                                               
couch  a policy  statement in  his questions  by reciting  a long                                                               
policy statement and then simply asking "do you agree."                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   responded  that  his  intent   is  to                                                               
determine  the person's  thought on  the issue  as Representative                                                               
Gruenberg sees it.  He opined  it is a legitimate question and is                                                               
not pontificating.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN remarked  that currently  DOC can  decide,                                                               
based  upon its  security evaluation,  to  send a  person out  on                                                               
electronic  monitoring  and back  into  the  community without  a                                                               
court order.                                                                                                                    
MR. STEINER stated "That is correct,"  but he does not believe in                                                               
a  pretrial situation  that they  are receiving  jail credit  for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  offered a  scenario of  a "Mr.  Smith" not                                                               
able to  make bail and is  returned to DOC for  holding pretrial.                                                               
At that time,  DOC determines Mr. Smith is in  its custody, not a                                                               
flight risk,  and that DOC  can keep  track of him  on electronic                                                               
monitoring.  Mr.  Smith is then put on  electronic monitoring and                                                               
sent home.   Representative  Claman asked  why Mr.  Smith doesn't                                                               
get credit for that time, as he has not posted bail.                                                                            
MR. STEINER  answered that he  does not  know the answer  to that                                                               
question.  He opined it is new  to him in this hearing that there                                                               
are that many people on  pretrial electronic monitoring.  He said                                                               
that has  not been his  understanding and  he would have  to look                                                               
into  it.   Electronic  monitoring  is  done at  the  defendant's                                                               
request but doesn't  result in jail credit.  He  said he does not                                                               
know  what it  means to  say that  400 people  are on  electronic                                                               
monitoring  pretrial ...  were those  people  on bail  or in  DOC                                                               
custody  on electronic  monitoring.   His  belief,  prior to  the                                                               
hearing, was that all were  on bail electronic monitoring, not in                                                               
DOC custody and released at DOC's request.                                                                                      
2:22:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN agreed it  was an important distinction and                                                               
asked him to assume these people  were like Mr. Smith, the Public                                                               
Defenders Office  wouldn't necessarily know about  it because the                                                               
court  didn't  grant  them  a   pretrial  release  on  electronic                                                               
monitoring, as DOC is making that decision.                                                                                     
MR. STEINER  replied that his office  would know about it  as the                                                               
offenders  would be  their clients  and would  know whether  they                                                               
were released.   He said he  would find out if  this is occurring                                                               
to  any  real degree.    He  pointed  to the  earlier  discussion                                                               
regarding  DOC expanding  into this  area and  remarked there  is                                                               
nothing that  prevents DOC from  participating in a  bail release                                                               
program with electronic monitoring even  though it is done at the                                                               
court's  order.    He  noted that  there  have  been  discussions                                                               
regarding  expanding  into  the  area  of  electronic  monitoring                                                               
especially in  rural Alaska  to promote  pretrial release.   This                                                               
bill, if  it grants jail  credit, is to promote  everyone getting                                                               
involved because it has the  capacity for promoting treatment and                                                               
reducing recidivism,  he related.   It may provide  incentive for                                                               
DOC to  enter that arena and  for clients to push  for it instead                                                               
of treatment programs, he posited.                                                                                              
2:24:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN questioned whether  there is anything today                                                               
that prevents  DOC from  getting engaged  in a  robust electronic                                                               
monitoring program  of which allows  any number of people  in the                                                               
community  onto electronic  monitoring  and, consequently,  would                                                               
never have to go to the courts to do so.                                                                                        
MR. STEINER  offered that he  will specifically look in  order to                                                               
ascertain there isn't something that prevents that.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN confirmed  that bail  conditions are  when                                                               
the court actually makes its  own evaluation of the offender, the                                                               
crime, and the  circumstances, in whether to  release the person.                                                               
He  surmised that  Mr. Steiner  was  raising the  topic that  DOC                                                               
might get in the bail  business in working with defense attorneys                                                               
to attempt to  have defendants released to DOC custody  as a bail                                                               
release.  He  suggested this as opposed to people  already in its                                                               
custody  and  giving  them electronic  monitoring  based  on  its                                                               
discretion as an executive branch agency.                                                                                       
MR. STEINER answered that he is  not aware of anything to prevent                                                               
that.  He  noted the topic has been discussed  and DOC's interest                                                               
in treatment and reducing recidivism  might add to the incentive,                                                               
if this bill  can provide that.   He remarked it would  be a less                                                               
expensive way to provide monitoring and treatment.                                                                              
2:25:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  offered a scenario  of an offender not  making bail                                                               
and are remanded to DOC and  prior to sentencing, DOC decides the                                                               
defendant  will  be  released  on  electronic  monitoring.    She                                                               
questioned  whether  in that  case  the  defendant would  receive                                                               
MR. STEINER relayed  that he does not know the  answer because it                                                               
had  never happened  to  any  client he  ever  had  ... that  DOC                                                               
released them pretrial on electronic  monitoring.  He pointed out                                                               
that he heard in the  discussion that there are approximately 400                                                               
people on  pretrial electronic monitoring.   He said he  does not                                                               
understand whether  that is  a [court  ordered] bail  release, or                                                               
someone   in  DOC   custody  who   was  released   on  electronic                                                               
2:27:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE offered  that Ms. Belden previously  testified that DOC                                                               
has  approximately 450  people on  electronic monitoring  in post                                                               
sentence.   She suspected  that DOC has  not been  putting people                                                               
into electronic  monitoring in more  than a handful  of situation                                                               
pretrial.  She offered that from  the sponsor's point of view, it                                                               
would incentivize  the beginning of  a robust program for  DOC to                                                               
put people on  electronic monitoring pretrial.   She offered that                                                               
she agrees with Mr. Steiner in that  she is not sure there is any                                                               
statute  that prevents  that, and  doesn't believe  DOC is  doing                                                               
that in any large number of cases.                                                                                              
2:28:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BELDEN responded  that DOC  currently has  450 sentenced  on                                                               
electronic monitoring,  and approximately 2,200 not  sentenced on                                                               
pretrial.  She  advised that currently DOC does  not put pretrial                                                               
people on electronic monitoring.                                                                                                
2:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  questioned  Ms.  Belden in  that  he  was                                                               
confused as  he had recently  spoken with [Ronald  Taylor], DOC's                                                               
commissioner  and asked  him how  many offenders  were on  active                                                               
post sentence electronic monitoring.   The commissioner offered a                                                               
number  in the  4,000  range which  was  interesting because,  he                                                               
reiterated,  his  office  followed  up   and  in  terms  of  post                                                               
sentence, the numbers are 4,730, and 447 pre-trial.                                                                             
MS. BELDEN said  she would double check the numbers  and get back                                                               
to the committee.                                                                                                               
2:30:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked Mr.  Steiner if  his agency  has had                                                               
experiences  where people  are in  DOC  pretrial custody  because                                                               
they cannot post  bail and then DOC transfers them  to a half-way                                                               
house in a DOC bed.                                                                                                             
MR. STEINER offered that he would  check but most of the time the                                                               
folks are  in custody or the  court releases them to  a community                                                               
residential center  (CRC).  He  advised he does not  know whether                                                               
DOC has now shifted toward putting pretrial folks in CRC's.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN referred  to a  person released  to a  DOC                                                               
half-way  house,  and  questioned  whether  the  defendant  would                                                               
receive jail credit for their time in the half-way house.                                                                       
MR. STEINER said he would expect that to be the case.                                                                           
2:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SHERRIE   DAGEL,  Criminal   Justice  Planner,   Office  of   the                                                               
Commissioner, said  the daily count  for DOC  as of today  is 451                                                               
offenders on  electronic monitoring post  sentence.  She  was not                                                               
certain of the  4,000 number and offered to  have information for                                                               
the committee shortly.                                                                                                          
2:33:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LEDOUX  closed public testimony  after ascertaining  no one                                                               
further wished to testify.                                                                                                      
[HB 15 was held over.]                                                                                                          
2:34:01 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 15 Sponsor Statement 3-14-2015.pdf HJUD 3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
CSHB 15 Sectional Analysis 3-14-2015.pdf HJUD 3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
CSHB 15 Explanation Of Changes Ver W to Ver P 3-14-2015.pdf HJUD 3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
CSHB75 Explanation of Changes, Fversion.pdf HJUD 3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 75
CSHB75 Sectional Analysis versionF.pdf HJUD 3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 75
HB15 Draft Proposed CS ver P.pdf HJUD 3/18/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 15