Legislature(2015 - 2016)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/03/2016 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:36:34 PM Start
01:37:40 PM Confirmation Hearings
01:50:42 PM SB157
01:55:21 PM SJR15
02:24:05 PM SCR4
02:37:32 PM HB93
02:59:49 PM Confirmation Hearings
03:00:24 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Public Members to the Select Committee on
Legislative Ethics
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Moved SB 157 Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invited & Public> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 93-PROBATION AND PAROLE: WORK, TRAVEL ACCOM.                                                                    
2:37:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of HB 93.                                                                             
2:37:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CATHY TILTON,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                              
Alaska,  sponsor  of HB  93,  introduced the  legislation  stating                                                              
that Alaska  has one  of the  highest rates  of recidivism  in the                                                              
nation. The Alaska Criminal Justice  Commission (ACJC) was created                                                              
to study  this issue and  their report indicated  that two  out of                                                              
three people released  from prison recidivate within  three years,                                                              
primarily  for probation  violations.  Over  10 years,  that  will                                                              
increase the  prison population by  1,416 for an added  total cost                                                              
of $78 million. HB 93 is intended to reduce those costs.                                                                        
She reported  that the  ACJC report  states that incarceration  is                                                              
not  more  effective  at  reducing  recidivism  than  noncustodial                                                              
sanctions,  and  may  increase recidivism.  It  also  states  "the                                                              
likelihood of  violations diminishes  as offenders gain  stability                                                              
and demonstrate  longer term  success in  the community."  Experts                                                              
such as  Partners for Progress  have identified employment  as one                                                              
of the three components needed for successful reentry.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON highlighted that  the challenge  of gainful                                                              
employment  is the fact  that few  employers are  willing to  hire                                                              
someone who has  been in prison. A study from the  Urban Institute                                                              
showed  that  just  12.5  percent of  employers  would  accept  an                                                              
applicant with a criminal record.                                                                                               
The intent of HB  93 is to help former inmates  become law-abiding                                                              
members of society,  to protect the public from  repeat offenders,                                                              
and  to  help reduce  the  cost  of recidivism.  The  bill  allows                                                              
probation  and parole  officers to  be  flexible to  probationers'                                                              
work  schedule when  prescribing  the  times a  probationer  shall                                                              
report.  It also  allows  reasonable travel  within  the state  as                                                              
long as  it is not  in conflict with  the terms and  conditions of                                                              
probation.  HB  93 also  allows  for  restitution. She  noted  the                                                              
letters of support from Partners for Progress and others.                                                                       
SENATOR COSTELLO referenced  the language on page  2, lines 13-14,                                                              
and suggested  that different  language might  better achieve  the                                                              
goal of allowing more flexibility in the terms of probation.                                                                    
2:45:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTOPHER  CLARK, Staff,  Representative  Cathy Tilton,  sponsor                                                              
of HB 93, suggested Carrie Belden respond to the question.                                                                      
SENATOR  COGHILL  explained that  the  court  sets the  terms  and                                                              
conditions  and   the  probation  officers  carry   them  out.  He                                                              
observed  that  the  bill  is  asking   for  more  flexibility  to                                                              
accommodate travel within the state for work.                                                                                   
CHAIR MCGUIRE asked Ms. Belden to address the question.                                                                         
2:46:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CARRIE  BELDEN,  Director,  Division   of  Probation  and  Parole,                                                              
Department  of  Corrections (DOC),  Anchorage,  Alaska,  confirmed                                                              
that  probation  and parole  officers  (POs)  receive  supervision                                                              
conditions from  the court and the  Parole Board. She said  POs do                                                              
encourage employment;  it's considered a protective  factor and is                                                              
important   for  success.   DOC  recognizes   the  importance   of                                                              
employment and frequently issues travel passes.                                                                                 
SENATOR  COSTELLO  questioned whether  the  language  in the  bill                                                              
actually takes  care of the travel  issue. She also asked  why the                                                              
flexibility  isn't in the  terms and  conditions of the  probation                                                              
MR. CLARK  directed  attention to  a legal opinion  that said  the                                                              
language  was crafted  to allow  some  flexibility for  the PO  to                                                              
determine whether  or not travel was  in the best interest  of the                                                              
2:50:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BELDEN  said someone  who is  living in a  village can  get an                                                              
instate travel pass  without physically coming to  the office, but                                                              
there are more rules  for out-of-state travel. POs also  try to do                                                              
home  visits  for  people  living in  rural  locations  and  those                                                              
probationers and parolees  can get a travel pass  then. She agreed                                                              
with  Mr. Clark  that  the  court and  the  Parole  Board set  the                                                              
conditions for  probation and parole,  but the PO has  latitude as                                                              
to whether or not to issue the travel pass.                                                                                     
2:52:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO asked to hear from a parole officer.                                                                           
CHAIR MCGUIRE said she would accommodate the request.                                                                           
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked the  sponsor  if she  had  considered                                                              
expanding  the travel to  allow for  educational opportunities  or                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON said she would look into that.                                                                            
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  asked Ms.  Belden  if  she  had an  opinion  about                                                              
allowing  travel  for education  or  training purposes.  She  also                                                              
asked  her  to  offer  testimony   next  week  on  behalf  of  the                                                              
department about any subjects that may be relevant.                                                                             
MS.  BELDEN stated  support for  allowing  travel for  educational                                                              
opportunities  or training  purposes. At probation  and parole  we                                                              
consider education,  training, and employment  productive factors,                                                              
she said.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  suggested  all  parties  work  together  on                                                              
suggested language.                                                                                                             
2:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
TRAVIS  LEWIS,   Vice  President,  Alaskans  for   Alaska,  Hoonah                                                              
Alaska, said  he grew up  in Elfin Cove and  knows a lot  of young                                                              
people  from  rural areas  who  are  under probation  and  parole.                                                              
Because  there is no  mechanism to  check in  locally, they  often                                                              
end  up in  a  halfway  house or  Lemon  Creek even  though  their                                                              
violations  are relatively  minor.  He cited  examples of  fishing                                                              
violations or missing a court date.                                                                                             
MR. LEWIS said  he's in full support  of the spirit of  HB 93, but                                                              
would  like  to  see  more  cooperation  between  DOC  and  Public                                                              
Safety.  The community's  chief of  police,  mayor, tribal  chief,                                                              
fire department,  and  harbor master  all agree  they could  put a                                                              
lot of  the violators  to work  on the  island instead  of sending                                                              
them  to  jail on  a  probation  violation.  He relayed  that  his                                                              
community has a  SEARHC clinic that can do drug  tests and alcohol                                                              
counseling, but there  is no mechanism between the  state and city                                                              
to allow for this common sense approach.                                                                                        
2:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE closed  public testimony on HB 93 and  held the bill                                                              
in committee.                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Resume-Gary J Turner 2016.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
Turner Bio Updated Nov 2015.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 93.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 93
fiscalNote DOA CSHB 93.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 93
fiscalNote DOC CSHB 93.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 93
Sectional Analysis CSHB 93.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 93
Conner Thomas Resume.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
CS SCR 4.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
CS SJR 15.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
fiscalNote SCR 4.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
fiscalNote SJR 15.pdf SJUD 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM