SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Alaska Legislature Passes Criminal Justice Reform


May 17, 2016
Tuesday AM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Friday, the Alaska State Legislature passed Senate Bill 91, a landmark comprehensive criminal justice reform bill. Reforms implemented by the bill are aimed at improving public safety, while also saving the state an estimated $380 million over the next decade.

"I introduced this bill in order to improve public safety, hold offenders accountable and get a better return on our corrections spending," said Sen. John Coghill (R-North Pole), the bill's sponsor. "Two out of three people coming home from prison return within three years. We've got to break that cycle, and SB 91 is a paradigm shift that will help us do it."

The bill incorporates recommendations of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission to adopt data-driven and research-based criminal justice reforms. These reforms include:?

  • A new risk-based system for release of defendants from jail pretrial, and supervision of those defendants in the community;
  • Sentencing reforms that focus prison beds for serious violent offenders;
  • And evidence-based practices to strengthen probation and parole supervision.

SB 91 will invest $85 million into treatment services, violence prevention programming, victims' services, pretrial supervision and prisoner reentry supports. This funding will come from savings achieved by reducing Alaska's prison population and also from a recidivism reduction fund created with 50 percent of the state's future revenue from commercial marijuana tax receipts.

SB 91 is on its way to the governor's desk for consideration.


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Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Alaska Senate Majority Leader John Coghill


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