Alaska Legislature Passes Criminal Justice Reform
May 17, 2016
(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.
On the Web:
SB91: OMNIBUS CRIM LAW & PROCEDURE; CORRECTIONS
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
Source of News:
Office of Alaska Senate Majority Leader John Coghill
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