Criminal justice reform may be coming to Alaska. After spending the summer collecting more information on efforts happening in other parts of the country, the Senate Judiciary Committee has started holding hearings again on their omnibus crime bill.
The legislation would raise the dollar-threshold for non-violent crimes like shoplifting and writing bad checks to be considered felonies. It would also set up a prisoner re-entry fund to help ex-convicts return to society, and it would create a criminal justice commission tasked with regularly reviewing the effectiveness of Alaska’s sentencing laws and making sure they’re in line with penalties in other states.
Sen. John Coghill, who chairs the Judiciary committee, says the bill has the potential to save the state money and improve public safety outcomes.
“We’re trying to say ‘We can’t afford to build another jail,” says Coghill.
Alaska has the worst recidivism rate in the country. Two-thirds of the state’s prisoners eventually go back after their release.
Watch yesterday’s committee meeting courtesy Gavel Alaska:
- For now, traffic in Gastineau Channel will not be restricted, but Hilbert said they will likely establish a no-wake zone during the actual salvage operation.
- The Senate State Affairs Committee heard public testimony from across Alaska on Senate Bill 128.
- Her pottery features a technique called Mishima that allows her to etch fine dark lines onto the surface of her porcelain pieces, marrying her background in drawing and illustration with organic three-dimensional forms.
- The City and Borough of Juneau has named candidates for two top positions: city manager and chief housing officer.