Estimates indicate Alaska’s prison population could reach capacity by 2016 even as a new prison is just gearing up.
Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that his department is taking steps aimed at reducing recidivism.
Schmidt says that if the state can take steps to stop repeat offenders, it should consider those. He says the state doesn’t want to talk about building another prison any sooner than it has to.
The department’s goals include reducing the number of repeat offenders and ensuring that those who are incarcerated spend their time in custody productively. The department says the recently opened Goose Creek prison, for example, has, or will have, substance abuse, educational, job training, mental health and parenting programs.